By Randall Jennings
Certainly not. That mothers are vitally important to our everyday lives is almost a proverb! That is true whether they are still actually in our lives or, as in my case, not.
If you have ever wondered how important God thinks mothers are in our lives, consider this: as Jesus was rapidly approaching the end of His great sacrifice on the cross, with the weight of the world upon Him, He looked down from the cross and spoke to the issue closest to His heart at that moment – the welfare of His mother after He was gone (John 19:27). As the deity in Jesus suffered for all mankind, the man in Jesus was concerned for His mother. Nothing else could have made Him more human.
If you saw the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” you could not help but be touched by the sight of Mary witnessing the agony of Jesus’ buckling under the weight of carrying His cross as His eyes searched the jeering crowd for a friendly face. And then the scenes turned to her having flashbacks of Him as a small boy growing up and crying out to her, His mother, for comfort, as every small boy does, even the Savior of the world.
I am sure you have been impressed by this great irony of life: that mothers raise their children to lose them into adulthood, yet we never outgrow our need for our mothers. They raise us up from helplessness to become strong and self-sufficient, but their role in our lives is almost perpetual.
As my mother was fond of saying, “When you become so self-important that you feel you are beyond the need for guidance, there are some things that only a mother will tell you. Don’t hold it against me, Randall, but as long as I am alive, you will always have a mother.” To a young man, that statement can be frustrating. To an older man, it is a blessed comfort. Her words still ring in my ears today.
As God chastens those whom He loves (Heb. 12:6), so do mothers. Mom took her role in the lives of her children seriously, and it extended beyond to her grandchildren. She was famous for writing letters to those of us who were at the crossroads in our lives, perhaps conducting ourselves in a manner that was less than admirable in her eyes.
Unlike the emails of today, these missives were very private and personal. She pulled no punches, always opening with a frank declaration of her love and a reminder that she never stops mothering those whom she loves and cherishes. Then she would drop the hammer.
She clearly addressed whatever issue in your life that concerned her, offered specific advice and encouragement and ended a list of the admirable traits for which she was proud of you and the same salutation: “Always, your loving mother.”
I probably hold the record for the number of letters received, a testament to my need for special mothering, lol. They served me well, even though I cringed at getting some of them throughout my life. On her last mother’s day on this earth, I had the rare opportunity to tell her how much I appreciated her letters, and how much they, and she, meant to me.
I hope that you have a similar opportunity some day.
[From the University church of Christ in San Marcos bulletin, May 19, 2013]
By Randall Jennings