Hope for Living: A prayer for Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! (Or, maybe not.)

Where does your mind go on a day like today? Do you celebrate, or do you mourn?

If the world worked as it should, today we’d only be celebrating for all the intact relationships with grace-filled women in our midst.

But we cannot ignore the fallenness of our world … of our own families.

Maybe this day brings the ache of remembering a woman gone too soon.

Or a woman who was never there at all.

Maybe this day makes your empty arms heavier as you grieve what was, or what almost was, or what could have been.

Maybe you are in the thick of motherhood, tired and strung out. Waiting with hope and with dread for this season to end and the next one to begin.

God sees you.

Do you know that God loves you like a mother? Not like your mother, though your mother’s love might have been a shadow or reflection of His. But in a perfect and complete way that only God can.

The love of God is unconditional. Unending. Uncontained.

—-

Holy God,

This weekend can be bittersweet for many, and just plain bitter for some.

Mother’s Day may remind us of a maternal figure we have lost, or never got to know. Of the grief of miscarriage or child loss. Of the ongoing journey of infertility. This day may bring up the pain of a broken relationship with our earthly moms, or estrangement with our children.

So we pause to lay down these burdens, God, and put them at your feet. They are too heavy to carry any further feeling as though no one else has noticed them in our arms. You notice.

We praise you for being a God who cares intimately about us — who celebrates with us, yes, but also a God who grieves when we grieve, and who sits with us in the broken place.

We read in Isaiah (66:13) that you comfort us as a mother comforts her child. And that you will not forget us (Isaiah 49:15).

Ecclesiastes tells us that there is

“a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,”

And we know that you, God, can hold both sides of this Mother’s Day in your hands. So we can, too. In the chaos or the silence of our hearts, speak to us. Comfort those who need comfort. Strengthen those who need strength.

Bring fond memories to those who grieve loss. Stir up hope for those who fear the future. Grant peace to those who brace against turmoil.

We praise you because you are God, and you are good. We praise you for a love that covers a multitude of disappointments, griefs, and losses. A love that we try the best we can to model and spread and emulate. A love that is worthy to celebrate on any day — including this Mother’s Day.

Kait Mangano is connection and care minister at Outlook Christian Church in McCordsville. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.