Women Standing In
"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you." Isaiah 66:13
Mothers' Day is May 9th, and most of us will send flowers or gifts, treat our moms to a special meal, or schedule time for a longer than usual call. Some of us can't wait to honor our moms, while others are approaching the day with trepidation and only participating to avoid the crushing weight of guilt that comes with dodging the day. For others, this will be the first Mothers' Day without their moms, while so many have never experienced a Mothers' Day with their moms because they never knew them.
The House in Orange Mound is a microcosm of the diversity of mother-daughter relationships that exist across our culture. And the ways in which the impending holiday is observed by our team members will run the gambit. Some will spend the entire day celebrating mom. Some will be the ones celebrated. For some, that Sunday will be no different than any other Sunday. Whatever our circumstances, the need for the love and comfort of a mother is inherent. The verse above from the Book of Isaiah even compares the comfort of a mother to the comfort that comes from the Lord.
What is also true is that when it comes to love, nurture, and wisdom we still rely on or maybe never had, we all have gaps in need of bridging. An essential part of the work of My Cup of Tea is meeting each other where we are and supporting one another in ways our mothers can't anymore or never did.
Quintessential mothers are problem-solvers, both big and small. So, at the house, we offer rides when cars break down, emergency funds when personal economies turn down, and our best advice when our sisters are feeling let down. In today's families, mothers are the wage earners and the bookkeepers, so we pay a fair wage and provide training in financial management. In a previous generation, mothers typically taught daughters to sew, cook and garden, so we fill those gaps for those who want to know. The way we most often show our love for each other is in the same way mothers have expressed their love for their children for centuries - we pray. We pray in times of anxiety, fear, and sadness. But we also say "thank you" in our prayers for each other and that God has brought us together. As, Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple said, "Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding."
And so there is no confusion, the problem solving and praying is a proverbial two-way street. White women and Black women; affluent and struggling, the bearing of burdens is not limited to a single category.
No matter how we end up observing Mothers' Day or how its recognition makes us feel, it is our Heavenly Father who comforts us who matters most. Every wonderful memory, talent, or skill; every good thing we know about our mothers comes from God. And where our mothers have failed us, because after all, they are human, God will eventually wipe every tear.
Happy Mothers' Day to all of the mothers, grandmothers, the women who are standing in.