A man was applying to be a New York City policeman. He had passed a wide battery of tests and was in his final phase. A panel quizzed him on different situations he might encounter in the field. He answered well but then came a hard, unexpected question. “You’ve just been sent to arrest your own mother. What do you do?” The man hesitated, but only for a moment. “I call for back up.”
Mothers: what a wonderful, loving and tough breed! Never stand between a mother and her cubs, whether the discussion is about brown bears or humans. Mothers give their lives for their children, gladly taking on any and all comers.
When I was twenty-one, I was living on my own, my own man. I had some electrical work done on my car but the shop had not done a very good job and I had to return the car a second time. Sometime before I brought the car back I must have been over to Mom’s house because to my horror I discovered that when I got to the shop, Mom had called and chewed out the mechanic! I say “to my horror” because I felt I should fight my own battles and I felt my manhood threatened. But I should add that I also felt just a little bit of joy, realizing that Mom would always be by my side. It’s thirty-six years later. I’m now fifty-seven and I suspect that I could still sic her onto a mechanic if I felt the need.
Mothers are tough in more ways than one. Madeleine L’Engle notes that parents are only as happy as their least happy child. A mother willingly ties her heart to the happiness of her children, even though their future is unknown.
An example is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Shortly after his birth a prophet tells her about how wonderful her child is and then gives an ominous warning. “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:35.
And so it came to be. Mary has many joys as she sees the good her son does and the love some show but she also lives to see her son rejected and his name despised and then watches as a cruel soldier runs a spear through his side as he hangs on the cross, dying for you and me. The spear surely ran through her heart, too. But she sees her son return and she who gave birth to Jesus is there as Jesus in turn gives birth to the church and good news is preached in his name.
Our thanks goes out to all mothers who endure both the sword and the joy of having children. You teach us about the heart of God who ties his life with ours and feels our every sorrow and joy. We honor you, Mothers, and as our thoughts begin to turn to the birth of Jesus we pause to give thanks to you as well.
Rick Cupp is minister of the Kenai Fellowship, 283-7682. Sunday Bible Classes for all ages, 10:00 a.m.; coffee and fellowship, 10:45; worship, 11:15. Wednesday meal 6:15 p.m.; Bible classes and worship 7:00 p.m.