Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nobody Ever Says…

(Written for Mother’s Day as a Note on Facebook.)

When I was a young boy, I remember getting up early to watch hours of what our family called Saturday Morning Cartoons. At that time, most television shows had lessons that gave moral instruction through one of the characters at the end of the show. But as a I grew older, the lessons were few and far between and what emerged was a campaign commercial aimed at drug prevention. In black and white, I still remember a homely teenager running down an alley from a cop just about to get caught when a voiceover says, “Nobody ever says, ‘I want to be a junkie when I grow up.’” Obviously, they got their point across if I still remember the slogan. Certainly, I didn’t want to be that boy run down by the police and I had a much brighter future for myself. But this morning as I awoke, the slogan came to mind, but with a slight alteration: “Nobody ever says, ‘I want to a mother when I grow up.’” 

With Mother’s Day only a few days past, it’s easier to understand why this was the change that was made, but then there’s the matter of fact. Little girls want to grow up to be doctors that deliver the babies and teachers that educate the children, but nobody ever says, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.” 

On Sunday, my Mom’s side of the family gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day with a brunch. I was asked to pray for the meal and I as sincerely thanked God for the mothers who wiped our bottoms and cleaned up our spit, there were more than a few chuckles in the crowd. And it was the moms who laughed because they had done the dirty work. And it is dirty work. Nobody ever says, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.”

A week ago yesterday, I got wonderful news that my friends Hannah and Lucas had their baby girl. After visiting them in the hospital, I got word that Tim, my Senior Pastor and Hannah’s father, was there for the birth. And I mean there. The story goes that after leaving there, and visiting another family in the hospital with a newborn, he was quite traumatized to say the least. The man of many words and courage and boldness in the most intense situations couldn’t keep a casual conversation without repeating himself. He was in a tizzy. And rightly so, after watching what must have seemed like a gruesome death that only gave precious life. This is the entrance into motherhood, the initiation right. Nobody ever says, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.”

This past year I have worked in ClearNote Campus Fellowship, the college ministry of our church to IU students. I spend a lot of time getting to know students, and the common questions are asked: What year are you? What’s your major? and What do you want to be? You might say I’m looking in the wrong place, but I don’t know that any of the young women have ever answered, “I’m a sociology major, but really I’d like to use what I learn to be a mom and teach my children how to be bold with their friends.” My recollection could be wrong, but there’s only one memorable response that’s even come close. Nobody ever says, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.”

The common testimony of godly women in Scripture is, “All I ever want is to be is a mother.” It is interesting to note that while we were given little record of the everyday lives of the women in Scripture, the precious glimpses we do have concern their fierce longing for children. The conversations of Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth and even Mary all surround their undying desire for motherhood. About Hannah’s barrenness we hear, “She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” Sarah laughed at the very promise of a son by God with a hardened heart. Elizabeth kept her child hidden seeing the Lord had taken away her reproach. Who would ever consider it a disgrace today when a young married maiden is without child? Nobody ever says, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.”

Happy Mother’s Day 2009.

Posted by Lane in 21:04:36

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