Focus on Faith

Mothers are a priceless gift.

My mom was a beautiful woman, and I am so thankful for her. Imagine a cross between Farrah Fawcett and Joan Collins, at least in the swirling mind of a 12-year-old boy.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I have been thinking of the lessons she taught me, as she raised my brother and me alone for a good part of our teen years. Hurdles and hurt did not prevent the unconditional love she extended to me daily.

Looking back, with my wayward behaviour, it could have easily been loving me occasionally, but no, her love was consistently unconditional.

I often tell young, questioning single moms that I turned out just fine. How?

Because I now believe in offering the love that flourishes in kindness, patience, love that is always seeking to release, love that speaks words of encouragement and belief. Being slow to anger and not keeping a permanent record of wrongs.

I believe in offering a love that protects, perseveres, trusts, and always hopes. Yes, these thoughts are adapted from the famous words of St Paul in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.

But without knowing it, my mother reflected the love of God in the same way that her large gold mirror on her vanity table reflected her bright red pout and backcombed, blonde hair set in place with clouds of hairspray,

She was not alone, as you, as a parent or carer, are not alone, but the love of Jesus indeed did flow through her. Parenting in the 21st Century is complicated then add to the mix the pressures of a global pandemic, isolation, loneliness and keeping a home together. I celebrate all the mothers in the Okanagan Valley. Well done.

I know as a pastor that this day creates so many beautiful emotions, then often some unpleasant and ugly ones: joyous memories and painful journeys. I celebrate that God became man through a woman and moved into the neighbourhood to help us.

Here is a Mother’s Day Prayer from author Pete Greig; the prayer captures the complexity of the day, the holy mess.

Lord, for mothers today,

we pray for joy.

For orphans, comfort.

For not yet mothers, hope.

For single mothers, grace.

For those who are lonely, family.

We ask for grace today.

For the mothers of prodigals,

And for those who have lost children,

And for those who don’t know where their children are.

May the embrace of grace displace shame

For mothers in prison,

For those who can’t feed a baby,

For those who miscarried

Or had an abortion.

And Lord, may those who never held their own child,

For whom today is sadder than it is happy,

Know the love and joy of parenting

In the family of God

Amen.

Phil Colins is pastor at Willow Park Church in Kelowna. Opinions in this column are his own.