Redeeming Mother’s Day

Redeeming Mother’s Day

by Peggy Haymes

I’ll be honest.

It’s never ranked as one of my favorite days.

It began when I witnessed too many churches getting too schmaltzy when recognizing the moms in the congregation. It always felt too syrupy and vaguely uncomfortable to me.

However, it was almost redeemed by the one memorable year when two elderly women almost got into a fight.

The pastor asked all moms to stand, then started eliminating them by age. (What possessed him to think that this was a good idea?) Finally one woman was standing, and the usher started towards her with a bouquet of flowers. About that time a quivering but determined voice was heard from another part of the sanctuary.

“I’m older than she is.”

I don’t remember how they resolved it, but alas, the two elderly women were not asked to duke it out.

In the last few years it’s seemed like a party for which I saw preparations but to which I wasn’t invited. I don’t have children, and it’s the fifth Mother’s Day since my mom died. I know to stay away from Hallmark commercials and scroll quickly through Facebook.

In worship this morning we didn’t ask the youngest or oldest mom to stand. We didn’t inquire as to which mom had the most kids. Instead, the pastor preached a fine sermon on the mothering side of God. All in all, not a bad morning.

After church a friend hugged me. “Happy mother’s day,” he said. “You mother people. I’ve seen it.”

And just like that, a day was redeemed. Maybe I could stroll into this party after all.

Wouldn’t you know it, just an hour or so earlier we’d been talking in my Sunday School class about Christian community, the hard things and the blessedness of it. We talked about the power to bless in dozens of ways small and large.

And there I was, an hour or so later, getting myself my own blessing.

You have to watch out For God. Sometimes she has a wicked sense of humor and timing.