Every person who has ever lived on planet earth is overwhelmingly indebted to a mother, whether or not they acknowledge it. Many tributes have been paid to the mothers of the world. Thackeray said, “Mother is the name for God on the lips and in the hearts of little children.” It has been said, “God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers.” A great preacher of the last century, Henry Ward Beecher, said, “God forgives us like a mother who kisses the offense into everlasting forgetfulness, and remembers them no more.”
There is no doubt in my mind that a good mother is the essence of love and sacrifice. She can kiss the hurt away. She can also put a smile on her face, even when there is pain in her heart. God made her that way. We can be sure that we are really old, if your mother stops worrying about you. That is an authentic and irrefutable sign recognized around the world.
When Jesus was crucified on a cruel and bloody cross, with the last ounce of his energy he turned toward his mother; as if to teach, us that this holy love should be our last worldly thought, and the point on earth from which the soul takes its flight to mansions not made with hands.
Recently I heard a gripping song written about a mother and her young son. The boy wanted his mother to pay him for doing some of the daily chores around the house, to buy something he wanted but did not need. He finished the tasks and gave his mother the list, which included the price for each task. “For cleaning my room and making up my bed, 50 cents; washing the dishes after breakfast, $1. Feeding the dog and watching my sister, 75 cents. Taking out the garbage and raking leaves $1.50. Going to the store and watering the flowers $1.25. Total $5.”
Mother paid the bill and wrote this note to her son. “For carrying you in my womb for nine months, no charge. For bathing you hundreds of time and changing your dirty diapers, no charge. For getting up many times in the middle of the night to calm your fears, no charge. For helping you with your school work, binding up your skinned knees, for the eight thousand meals cooked, washing your clothes for the last 10 years, no charge. Everything I have done for you was done with love. You owe me nothing!”
Happy Mother’s Day! If you had a mother like mine you will always be indebted to her. Call her and she will smile.
Robert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.