Nothing extraordinary or particularly noteworthy.
On the other side of the world, there are mothers whose daughters were stolen from them. Little girls, as young as 9 years old, taken away by wicked men who plan to sell them. I have thought of those mamas and those girls so many times today I could think of little else. My heart aches so for them. And I want to do something...anything. I pray.
In my own church, we have a Kids Hope program that matches up mentors with students who need a little something extra. And as our coordinator tells us a little bit about the year they just had with those 30 students, I am reminded of the story she told one day about the little girl whose mom just walked out on her. And I can hardly process what this child must think and feel. And there's that ache again. That lump in my throat I can't swallow. And I want to pick her up and hug her, paint her nails and fix her hair, put her in a pretty dress and watch her twirl in the living room while I promise her that it will be okay. But I don't know this little girl, don't know her name, so instead I give thanks that one of the beautiful people in my church does know her, and will speak that love into her life.
I think of the women I know who are waiting. I have two good friends who are in various stages of the process of adoption. They haven't even seen their children's faces yet, but there is a love there that is strong and fierce and ready. And there are women who are spending this day feeling so out of place and forgotten and overlooked. They've been praying and praying for a baby and still there is no little one reaching out for them today. Those women are so near and dear to my heart because I was one for two years. I feel your heart and I know and understand that on this day you really just want to hide away till it's all over.
I talked with my sister-in-law today. She casually mentioned that they had just come from the cemetery where they put flowers on their son's grave. A little one who never opened his eyes to see his mamas face, who slipped away into the arms of Jesus before he ever felt a pair of earthly arms holding him close. And though she has four little ones to fill those arms right now, I know this day she is missing that little boy who we held for such a short time. All around the world there are moms who are missing children who passed away. And even if there is the hope that those kiddos are being held fast in the arms of a Savior, there is still a distinct longing for them.
On this Mother's Day, I celebrate my Mom who was faithful and good and wonderful and warm and loving - who still is. I love her so. And yet, there are many whose moms were not faithful, were not good, were not warm, and who did untold damage. Here they sit on an entire day meant to celebrate the person who hurt them so deeply.
There was nothing extraordinary or noteworthy about my day. Except that it all was. And I didn't earn or deserve a bit of it. Truth be told, I don't know why God decided I should receive the set of life circumstances I did. I couldn't have earned the childhood I was blessed to experience - the two loving parents who sacrificed and raised me with such love and grace and beauty. Here I sit with these three little blessings who love so unconditionally. And I don't understand why He has given this to me. Even as I am so thankful for the children I have, my mind has wandered so fast and far today to those who were not celebrating.
For the gifts of today, I am so deeply grateful. And for those whose hearts are burdened and hurting my thoughts and prayers have been with you all day. I hope you will feel peace, that what has been broken may be healed, that what has been stolen may be restored, that what has been a dark and painful place will one day be made bright. My prayer is that God may be so near to you that will feel only His presence. May His peace dwell in you richly, abundantly, radiantly.