Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother strength

Maybe it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, or maybe it was all the extraordinary women I’ve been working with lately. Yesterday in prayer I explored the concept of Mother strength.

I don’t often think of those words together. Mother to me usually implies soft and gentle. Sunday’s Dear Abby, though, featured a different kind of mom—a real rootin’ tootin’ hell raiser. I loved reading about this woman’s dynamic womanhood, hope you enjoy it, too.

So yesterday, when the idea of motherhood was rolling around in my thought, I kept with it a sense of strength. It’s the strength of Spirit. Mothers do what they need to do. They have the strength to get up every morning to rouse the household, they have the strength to love even when disappointed, they have the strength to keep everything running so everyone else can go forth and conquer the world.

I started having visions of Rosie the Riveter, the goddess hunter Diana, Eleanor Roosevelt. I also recently re-read with my son Cheaper by the Dozen and its lesser known sequel Belles on Their Toes. The mother, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, is beyond the pale regarding both love and strength. I mean, twelve kids! And got them all through college in the early part of the 20th century as a single mom/industrial engineer, after her husband’s passing. [Note: at the link, she's known as the Mother of Modern Management.]

Mary Baker Eddy, a woman called affectionately by her household workers “Mother,” once wrote: “As Mary Baker Eddy I am the weakest of mortals, but as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, I am the bone and sinew of the world” (Emma C. Shipman Reminiscences).

It was the “bone and sinew” concept I found myself focusing on yesterday. Motherhood is the bone and sinew of the world. Motherhood shapes and influences through love and undying affection. It is probably the largest yet most unseen influence contributing to human progress, for what mother doesn’t want to give their children more than they had?

And, lest we forget, God is Mother as well as Father. God is both, neither to a lesser degree but both in full flower. I’ve often stumbled in the past when I’ve seen God referred to as “She.” Yesterday, with the towering strength of divine Motherhood in my thinking, for the first time I could think of God as She and understand.

To all my readers today, both male and female, think about the strength of motherhood that you express. When you do as a good mother would do, you are part of that strength.


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