Strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Mothers Day can create mixed feelings for many, and doesn't always feel like a celebration. In Genesis, the word to describe Eve’s purpose as helper, “ezer” in Hebrew, is the same word used to describe God as our Helper. It depicts a rescuer, one of strength and power. When the word ezer is used in the Old Testament it refers to extremely important and powerful moments of rescue and support. So for God to describe Eve as someone who reflected this aspect of God’s own nature, encourages me that strong women was undoubtedly God’s design. Eve would provide valuable and vital strength to Adam, as well as those around her, and we too have the same value and strength to offer.
We can often miss the unique way God’s heart is reflected through mothers. Yet when I think of Eve I cannot escape from seeing God’s gentleness, power and beauty wrapped up in her. Eve was described in Genesis 3 as “the mother of all the living”, yet this moment, was before she had ever given birth. I believe this reveals something to us of the nature of women themselves - whether we have children or not, women were made to mother.
What's Mother's Day all about?
When I think of mother’s day, I see the balloons, cards and chocolates many hope to receive and those we are encouraged to buy for our moms, or grandmothers to show our value and appreciation for them being in our lives. But I know some who don’t spend the day feeling appreciated, those who buy their own gifts for their husbands or partners to later give them on the day, because too many times they’ve been forgotten. I’ve heard of moms who end up not having the break they’d hoped for, because the father has spent the day rushing out to get something last minute, and they wonder if it indicates their value, or just an easy mistake. Other mothers I know, are lavished with flowers and jewelry and taken out for special meals or mini vacations.
The day looks different to many.
The moms I know who wish their kids would call, or come home, find the day passes by again as every other. I know the moms who have lost children, who grieve this day months before it even arrives. The friends of mine who find the early commercial advertising to be a drawn out painful reminder of the baby they didn’t get to hold, or the child that should be sat round the dinner table. Friends of mine who dream, hope and yearn for their bodies to create a life, feel the yearly reminder that they cannot, as they grieve the loss of something they may never have or never become. These are the some of the strongest women I know.
Strong and vulnerable
And yet, when I think of Eve, I’m reminded that it is in our nature as women, to be strong. Not to cover up our vulnerability, weakness or pain, but that within it all we are more powerful than we know.
Motherhood can look glamorous if you try to put a shirt on a baby and do your grocery shopping in heels, but the reality is, it is always snot, throw up and wiping butts - no matter how good your hair looks. It is messy, full of tantrums and endless whining. It is frustrating, it is personalities clashing, heartbreak and worry. It’s hopes and pride, laughter and tears. But motherhood can also be, like Eve, present without children. Being an ezer support in the workplace, supporting colleagues and deadlines. Being an ezer helper in the supermarket to a stranger who’s dropped their shopping, or is short of $5. Being an ezer rescuer and standing up against racism, poverty and injustice, for those who cannot defend themselves. It doesn’t mean being Wonder Woman and having super magical powers, but when we recognize our true nature to be an ezer in the world, we realize we don’t have to be winning at motherhood, or have children to do it. We can reflect God’s ezer Helper and Rescuer nature, just by being ourselves.
Being a strong, support and rescue to those around her, was Eve’s calling as a woman. If Eve is called a helper and a mother before she births a child, the same is true for us women. My identity is in who God calls me to be, not in the children I produce, whether biological or spiritual.
Celebrating Mother's Day
And so this Mothers Day we want to take some time out as a church community to celebrate the women amongst us and so are doing our Sunday morning gathering slightly differently. The doors at Beyond Dance (87th and 3rd) will be open as usual from 930am and the men and children amongst us will gather coffee, donuts and some games! The ladies however, will meet at Omonia (76th and 3rd) for a Sunday brunch together. We would love for you to join us and to find out more reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Mother’s Day. Let us remember that we're more powerful than we know and are, regardless of our circumstances, never forgotten or unappreciated by God.
Here’s to the strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.