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I was lying awake the other night when I heard the door to the girls’ room open. Again. One of the kids had an upset stomach, and had been in and out of bed three or four times already. Katie rolled over and pulled herself out of bed. Again. And when Katie climbed back into bed I mumbled the words that were in my mind.
“Zzzzz… should be Mother’s Day.”
I’m not sure the words made any sense to her, both of us groggy in the middle of the night. But what I meant by it was this: “I don’t understand how you continue to give of yourself more, and more, and more, with no end in sight. You deserve to be honored this weekend, not me.”
A couple weeks ago I wrote about fatherlessness and the privilege that it is to have a faithful father. Unfortunately, that is not something that can be taken for granted. But on this Father’s Day weekend, it was the moms I was thinking about, in part because so often they can be taken for granted. My daughter did not have to wonder whether or not her mom would be there for her in the middle of the night. I was blessed with the same kind of mother, one who could give seemingly without end.
The moms I have known best amaze me with their ability to love without requiring anything in return. My God amazes me for the same reason. I think about the story of the prodigal son, and the father who runs to welcome his scoundrel of a son back into the family. God’s love continues even when spurned, even when taken for granted, even when His gifts are squandered. What that story displays is really a mother’s love. Or to put it more accurately, the love of a mother is really a display of God’s love.
Family is more than it seems at first glance. A faithful father makes it easy to believe in a faithful God. A mother’s selflessness makes a selfless God believable. Both are an expression of God’s love, and an opportunity to experience God’s love. Of course, in this world, these are just glimpses and foretastes, often overshadowed by our sin and brokenness which makes the message of the Gospel that much more important. God loves the broken. God uses the broken. God was broken for us. We are part of His family.
to the full in action, I want it. I want to become like Christ.