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.