John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.” There was no greater love than that of Jesus when he gave His life for you and me, but there is a depth of love that is hard to fathom when it comes to people. We all have special bonds with our mothers. They are the first person to love us, even long before they hold us for the first time. Lovingly, they will stroke their extending bellies as they proclaim their adoration for us. Studies have conclusively shown that fetuses respond positively to a mother’s voice, calming them and even slowing their heartbeat a little when they are restless. I can only imagine how beautiful my mother’s voice must have been as she sang to me in her womb. A mother does not have to see her child for the first time for an indescribable love to occur. That kind of love is automatic for her.
And a mother does not fear death when it comes to her children. There are countless stories of brave women who gave their lives during pregnancy or afterward so that a child could live. I imagine the greatest fear of any mother is thinking that one day she will pass on from this life and there will be no one to love her children as much as she has. She cannot fall out of love with them. She cannot divorce or abandon them – there is just no part of her capable of doing that. Her loyalty is unmatched, her love unrelenting, and there is nothing she would not sacrifice for the safety of those she has carried, loved, and nurtured for nine months and beyond.
There are also countless stories of women suffering significant abuse to stay and protect their children, waiting for the right moment to escape with them. The insults, the beatings, and the pain are willingly endured so that it is not inflicted on her children. That is love beyond understanding – that is the measure of love given to every woman by God Himself. Do great things, and your mother is your greatest cheerleader. Do bad things, and she will be disappointed and punish you, but she will never leave your side. Every day, as you are playing and she is working, cooking, or cleaning, you are on her mind. At the end of the day, tired as she is, she will never be too tired to spend time with you, playing games, reading, or praying “Now I lay me down to sleep” with you as you drift to sleep to that familiar, soothing voice. And when you are safely sleeping, she will pray for you again. She will not eat until you have, will not buy herself anything until you have everything you need, and you will never see her complain about it.
She is where you run to when you are ill. She has the magic touch that can hug any fear away, and she has the same magic in her lips, kissing every “ouchie” until it is better. From the first time she touches her belly in loving anticipation, she has dreams for you that are way bigger than the ones you have for yourself. She will love whom you love as long as they love you a fraction of how much she does, but if they hurt you, they better be aware of the fury of a “Mamma Bear.” Mothers never seem tired, sick, down, or in pain because they hide it so that you don’t have to worry. Her only concern is your happiness, and she will go to any length possible to ensure that. Your first movement in her belly, the first word, first step, first day at school, and every other first in your life will be stored for your in her memory, retelling all the beautiful moments you were too young to remember.
Your mother will be the closest thing to the love of God that you will experience on this earth, and it will be the first love of your life – the Christian example of how you will love other people for the rest of your life. Every loss will hurt, but every person I know that has lost a mother says nothing hurts more. The only more significant hurt is that of a mother who has lost a child – part of her heart will be missing until she is reunited in paradise one day with them. If your mother is still alive, call her on Sunday. If she has passed on, remember her lovingly, but remember that she would not want you to dwell on the loss rather than the memories. Lastly, I know this is about Mother’s Day, but if you are a mother who has lost a part of your heart, know that they are safe, happy, blessed, and patiently waiting for the moment when you will be reunited.
Love your mother; she deserves it for the way she suffered during childbirth, the tears she shed for you – the happy ones, but especially the sad ones, the way she cheered you on when no one else did, the way she endured the challenges you presented her with, and especially her undying love for you during your teen years. That last one alone deserves the best you have in return. And try and show your love for her for more than one day a year – pretty sure she would appreciate appreciation the other 364 days as well. Don’t live to regret not showing her how much she meant to you because she will not be there to hug one day anymore. Don’t even wait for Sunday. Please do it now, because every day should be Mother’s Day.