type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: Reflections on Mother's Day Part 2

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reflections on Mother's Day Part 2

When I am happy, I have the tendency to think everyone else is happy, too.

We don't often assume that the people around us are hurting. At least I don't. I'm relatively happy-go-lucky by nature, and I assume everyone around me is nice, honest, happy, and rich. Kidding on the rich.

So when I go to church on Mother's day weekend, and it is a happy time for me, I greet those around me with joy!

I'm a mother! You're a mother! Lets honor the mothers and make them feel special! In some churches I've been in, they've had the mothers stand or had a flower to hand out to each mother, or some token of honor. I've never thought anything about it. It's really a nice gesture.

My church does something a bit different. A bit unconventional. They don't have anything for the mothers. They have white roses at the front of the church that are for anyone that finds Mother's Day painful for any reason. It might be that your mom is no longer living. It could be infertility or the loss of a child. Or both. Or maybe your desire is to marry and have children, and yet you remain single. Given these situations, the truth is that there are many around me that feel pain on Mother's Day. There were many, many people last Sunday with white roses in their hands. They were everywhere.

Read Jenna's post from last Sunday. It's beautiful. Worth the 15 second pop over there.

This Mother's Day, at my Aunt's church in California, upon entering the sanctuary door, each woman was asked, "Are you a Mother?". If the woman said, "Yes", they were given a flower and a small box of chocolates.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? In theory? Mother's day is about honoring mothers. Let's honor the mothers!

But, you know where I'm going with this. Put yourself in the position of someone (many many someones) who have attempted pregnancy for years, or have lost children to miscarraige, and are yearning to be a mommy. This sweet woman walks into the door of that church, probably dreading every second of the big "Happy Mother's Day" message. Maybe she didn't even want to go to church at all that day. Last year on Mother's Day, she thought "This will be my last Mother's Day without children! Next Mother's Day, it will be my day!" But, here's another Mother's Day with pain. Raw pain. Now as she walks into church, she is asked, "Are you a Mother?!" and then given nothing when she squeaks out a "no". So hurtful.

The only reason I am now sensitive to this pain is because of the beautiful way my church has dealt with this issue (and the many people I saw with white roses there), as well as watching my BFF Auntie struggle through 3 of the lousiest Mother's Days the last 3 years.

I'm not on a soapbox about insensitive churches. I'm one of the insensitive ones. Being sensitized by other's pain.

This is another way we can rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. (Rom 12:15)

I can't mourn with someone who needs me to mourn with her if I'm blind to her pain.


Kelly @ Love Well said...

When I was in college, our church brought in an interim youth pastor. He was an older college student (at our alma mater, by the way), and he and his wife were some of the sweetest, wisest, funnest people.

But they didn't have children, even though they'd been married close to 10 years. And then, while they were at our church, she got pregnant. I'll never forget her comment to me the next Mother's Day. "This is the first Mother's Day in 10 years that I'm not going to sob." That cut me to the quick.

Well said, Jenny. I've never forgotten that lesson.

Dawn S. said...

I love ya, babe.

Your Auntie.
Married over 16 years.
Empty arms.
One molar pregnancy.
One miscarriage.
Waiting for three adoptions to be completed, the first of which was started in fall of 2005.
Thanking God for our church and my sweet, sensitive niece who takes care of me and my heart.

Elena's Garden said...

I really like this post too! When I was a kid, the tradition at my church was to wear a white rose if your mother had passed away and a red one if she was living. When I was 28 I lost my dear mom and between that, being single and then after I married I miscarried (before having my prescious daughter) Mother's Day was a white rose time for me. Now it is a wonderful time of celebrating, a time where my mourning was turned to dancing! But I always say a prayer for those who I know Mother's Day is difficult. Thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

well said.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

That was beautiful Jenny. I love that idea. I hope it catches on at other churches.

I am tagging you, btw.

The Mulvihills said...

Hi Jenny!

Josh's mom passed away this week, and during the funeral, this blog post came to my mind. Crazy!
If you don't mind, I would like to send it on with Josh to the pastoral team at our church.