Happy Mother’s Day. I have wonderful mothers in my life: my mom, my sister, my grandmothers, women at church etc. My own mother always did a wonderful job of raising us. She was always supportive, nurturing, encouraging, loving, and so much more.
We have been talking a lot about what Godly womanhood and manhood entail in class, the role of fatherhood\motherhood, the family and so on. Now most of you know Jon and I have no children and don’t intend to have any in the near future (if ever).
Now, another story for you, we went to see Edisa this week. Her sister-in-law (who is married to Edisa’s brother) began to tell us some of their family’s troubles while I was drawing in the dirt with her kids. The brother and his wife are both HIV positive, and he is now refusing to take his medications. He seems to be depressed and not want to live, but it is hard to talk to him because not only do I not speak Luganda, but he is mute. So we talked with them on those things. His wife is ready to leave, but has no way to get out. She begged us for prayer and asked me what she should do repeatedly. Partway into the conversation, a new girl showed up who is around 11 or 12 years old. We found out after the talk that this girl’s twin brother had recently been bitten by a dog and had died of rabies. She had lived with her father and step-mother, but her step-mother was incredibly abusive toward her; so she ran away and is staying with Edisa’s family now. That was a heavy Wednesday.
What do these two things have to do with each other? Well, my heart broke on Wednesday. The hurt and sorrow of that family left me almost unable to breath. And I know that in a similar way to how my heart felt for that girl and her loss, my mother’s heart broke for every hurt and pain I’ve ever felt. This is God’s heart toward us. God is the perfect Father, but He also shares a mother’s heart toward us.
God just really kept pressing on my heart this week the need to be a mother. I’m not saying that I suddenly have a desire for children of my own. I am saying that God showed so clearly the need for women to step up. I have heard so many times the call for men in the church to be spiritual fathers, even if they aren’t biologically fathers. But that same call is needed for mothers. Women in the church, we are to be mothers. I am to have a mother’s heart as I walk beside Edisa’s family in hard time and in the laughs we share. I am to have a mother’s heart for the 80% of the Ugandan church that are CHILDREN. For the 50% of the population in this country that are under the age of 15. For my nieces and nephews, for the other women in my life. Last week I made the claim that if suffering doesn’t move us to action, then we don’t understand the cross of Christ. But I would also say that if suffering doesn’t move us to action, we don’t have a mother’s heart.
Titus 2 also gives the call for spiritual mothers in the church. Verses 3-6 are a call for older women to train the younger, to disciple them. What is a mother if not someone who disciples those entrusted to them? We need women willing to walk alongside the younger and train them up.
So to the mother’s out there who are loving your kids and raising them up, thank you. But my prayer is that I may have, we may have, a mother’s heart for those around us who aren’t our kids. That we would share God’s adoptive heart toward the lost and broken around us. That we would take on the challenge of training up our sisters in the church and build toward the Kingdom of God. Pray for Edisa and her family. And let’s love one another as Christ has loved us.