Mothers and Others

Not everyone looks forward to Mother’s Day. For the woman who never married, or never conceived, or who lost one of her children, Mother’s Day can be a painful twenty-four hours—hours in which she simply tries to journey through. She feels de-valued, unappreciated for who she is, as if she is an “also ran” in a contest for which there are no rules.

One of my critique partners is currently writing a fictional story about an Islamic woman who faces ostracism because she has been unable to give her husband a child. The pressure to produce lingers in her every thought. The consequences weigh heavily in her mind. Her mother-in-law hovers, ready to choose another wife for her son. Doing so will make the first woman a servant in her own home. The bed she has shared with her husband will be occupied by another, knowledge he is sleeping with the newly chosen bride thrown in her face. How tragic!

Women come with all sorts of gifts. Some are nurturers—endowed with the ability to make others feel wanted and loved. Others are worker bees—spending their hours creating foodstuffs, sewing clothing, growing flowers, and doing a myriad of other useful things. Still others are the ones who wait to serve. A maiden aunt who steps in to help when her sister or brother face a crisis. A widow who dispels her loneliness by serving a family missing a member and find themselves afloat on a sea of grief.

These women will not receive a Mother’s Day card. Flowers for them will not arrive. Though they might be invited to dinner out, the celebration will probably be for the woman at the table whose children have chosen to honor their mother. The nameless faces of the other heroines in the room will sit quietly and smile, knowing God has promised rewards that await them in heaven.

For God has said in Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV), “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

A promise those “others” can cling to and find happiness in.

Happy Mother’s Day—To all women

 

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