For She Who Nurtured Us!
The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Since my Sunday “Thought” is now a Bible reading, I wanted to honor mothers in a way that I could not yesterday.
The tale that can be told of mothers throughout history is not a unique one. For even in ancient times, except for the Almighty himself, it was to the one that bore us and fed us and set our feet upon the road of life, they were the ones that we honored with the highest praises that could possibly be sung. Even today, as a mother, I serve myself food at the table last. It is not because I fear there will not be enough which is a fear that faces many mothers in today’s world. It is not because I am in less need of having my hunger assuaged. But it is because I want the choicest morsels, and only the most perfect pieces to go to the ones I love more than I do myself. It is a testament to the bond that formed as my heartbeat synced with theirs as I carried them inside of me for those 40 odd weeks before they burst forth into the new world. However, that instinctive, fierce protectiveness is not isolated to the mother who carried that child in her body. You see, it is just a palpable in the life force of the mother who carried her child in her heart!
I do not say that all mothers are angels. Yes there are some that commit great evil upon the very innocent lives they were entrusted with by God. Not every mother there is has the mother gene perfectly affixed to each strand of DNA. In fact there are indeed some who never should have conceived, nor carried, nor delivered a child. And yet, we know that this number is infinitesimally small compared to the millions upon millions throughout history that would have gladly sacrificed the air they breathe if it would in some way help their little ones. And this is the part of the story we tell today. It is the part of the tale that we cling to when we paint a picture in our mind of mothers and a mother’s love! It is the tale that was written for Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1933 by Temple Bailey!
Is This The Long Way?
“Is this the long way?” asked the young mother as she set her foot on the path of life. And the Guide said:
“Yes, and the way is hard, and you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”
The young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, she fed them and bathed them, taught them how to tie their shoes and ride a bike, and reminded them to feed the dog and do their homework and brush their teeth. The sun shone on them and the young mother cried,
“Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
Then the nights came, and the storms, and the path was sometimes dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her arms. The children said,
“Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children,
“A little patience and we are there.”
So the children climbed and as they climbed they learned to weather the storms. And with this, she gave them strength to face the world. Year after year she showed them compassion, understanding, hope, but most of all unconditional love. And when they reached the top they said,
“Mother, we could not have done it without you.”
The days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years. The mother grew old and she became little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And the mother, when she lay down at night, looked up at the stars and said:
“This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned so much and are now passing these traits on to their children.”
And when the way became rough for her, they lifted her, and gave her strength, just as she had given them hers. One day they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And Mother said,
“I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk with dignity and pride, with their heads held high, and so can their children after them.” And the children said,
“You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said,
“We cannot see her, but she is with us still.” A mother is more than a memory. She is a living presence. Your Mother is always with you. She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and perfume that she wore, she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well, she’s your breath in the air on a cold winters day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is your birthday morning. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.
A mother shows through in every emotion – happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow – and all the while hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life.
She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space – not even death!
Author: Temple Bailey
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
John 19:26-27 ESV