I find the text for this morning’s Scripture readings quite appropriate for Mother’s Day, especially perhaps the line from the first letter of John that says, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God.” (1John 4:7) I was blessed to have a mother whose love for her children was unbounded and constant but never stifling. She was proud of us but not excessively so that we learned not to consider ourselves better than others. She taught by example. My best story about my mother is one I repeat often but no one seems to mind. It’s a very good lesson, so here it is.
At the end of her life my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease had taken her ability to speak coherently and to sing as she had – beautifully – so that she could only hum and string together very few words but her personality had never changed. She continued to be her sweet, placid self. Her last three years, when she needed more care than we could give her at home, were spent at Willow Point Nursing Home in Vestal, NY where the aides came to love her as she poured out her mother-love on them. One of her last cogent sentences was “I love you best!” Which she often said to me when I visited almost every day. One day I arrived during lunch and the aide who was feeding her saw me and shouted from the other side of the room, “Hey, she
told me she loves ME best!” I proceeded to walk across to them, kissed my mother and said hello, to which she replied smiling, “I love you best!”
Is that not how God loves us? Each one of us is a precious, unique creation and God plays no favorites. Today is a day to honor all those people who have shown us this type of love, whether or not they are a birth mother. And for all those, like me who have never physically birthed a child, it is a call to be unconditional in our loving that the world may be transformed into a world where everyone is loved – best.