Mother's Day Sermon
I don’t mean to take one iota away from your celebration. But with your permission, I’d like to address the people for whom today is NOT a wonderful occasion.
Today is a rough day for someone who recently lost a parent. Also for someone who lost a parent at a young age. If the loss was due to trauma, today may be tough. Do you know anyone in any of these categories? Please write their names down.
Today is a hard day for anyone who has lost a child. No matter how the child died, what year, at what age, regardless of other children, this is difficult. A parent isn’t supposed to bury a child, it’s not natural. The old ones are supposed to go first. Whatever the reason for the death, the parent takes responsibility on some level. And on that level, feels they have failed as a parent, and are not worthy of all the hoopla. If you know someone who has lost a child, please write his or her name on your list.
Today is a miserable day for the people who want to be parents so badly, but are not. This group may be difficult to identify because this issue tends to be intensely personal and private. Write the names of people you know for sure are in this category.
Regardless of a person’s stand on abortion, there is much to be done for healing of a person having had that experience. Put aside politics. Look past religious positions. Think of the people not allowed to grieve through it. Think of the unacknowledged child. Think of how much that hurts every Mother’s Day, and what it might mean to finally face it and process it. Think of the huge number of people this encompasses. If you, or a woman you know, had an abortion, write a name on your list. Write down the names of the fathers.
Today is a very confusing and emotional day for anyone who gave a child for adoption, including Surrogates. It was a very brave thing to do, so the child could have a good life. But thoughts of that baby are constant. The people who brought that infant into the world are parents, but they’re not. Today they are revisiting the decision, the event, the outcome. They grieve as though the child is lost. Indeed, the baby is lost to them.
Some who has been adopted also have a tough time on Parents Days. No matter how good their lives have been, there are always the questions in the back of their minds. Why? Who were they? What were the circumstances? Searching for birth parents carries its own bag of feelings.
If you know anyone involved in adoption in any way, please write down their names.
Is there someone in your life who was like a parent to you? Write that name.
What does one do on Mothers and Fathers Days if one had an abusive parent? In school and Church you were told that your parents love you. Then you went home and those parents hit you, insulted you, assaulted you, degraded you, and did cruel things. Or those parents DIDN’T do things. They didn’t feed you, support you, play with you, keep you safe and warm, read to you, have a home for you. You grew up very confused about what love is.
And you struggle mightily with the Commandment: Honor your father and mother. No matter how many times you’ve looked, Hallmark just doesn’t cover this. Parents days may bring it all up again.
Please write down the name of an abused child, whether it be yourself or someone you know. Write the name of the abuser.
Write the names of parents and children who are estranged, and can’t seem to cross the bridge.
So you have these names. What does your heart say to you about them?
Now place a hand over that list of names and pray for them.
I commission you now to reach out. Be God’s presence to those hurting. Acknowledge their pain. Remember that the smallest gesture can have a huge effect. A short phone call. A brief note in the mail, or stuck in the door. Flowers cut from your garden. A lawn mowed. A few words.
I have two favorite stories that prove this works.
One woman had a neighbor with whom she had minimal contact. But she was missing her mom, so she went to the older neighbor. “I’m without my mom this Mother’s Day, and I really miss her. Will you be my mom for today and let me take you out to lunch?”
The older woman’s face just lit up. “I have cards and flowers from my children, but they all live out of state. Will you be my daughter for today?” That get together forged a friendship that lasted for years.
Another woman had heard this sermon and was thinking about it as she thinned plants in her garden. She potted a few of them. Garden gloves and all, she went to the home of a neighbor who had recently lost her mom. As she gave her the flowers, she said she hoped the recipient was getting through the day okay. The recipient cried. She had been having a horribly hard day as it turns out. She explained that the tears were the only way she could express what it meant to her to be thought of.
The next time she missed her mom, you know she thought about that kindness.
Please note that there is no promise here that any of this is going to be easy. Worthwhile things rarely are. Step up. Help heal the planet.
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