Summary: Mother’s day, 2006
The Treasure of a Mother’s Heart
May 14, 2006
There are some days that cause preachers all sorts of trouble because of the high expectations surrounding the day. Take for instance today – Mother’s Day. Robert Fulghum (“It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It” New York: Villard Books, 1989) writes about it this way.
For twenty-five years of my life, the second Sunday in May was trouble. Being the minister of a church, I was obliged in some way to address the subject of Mother’s Day. It could not be avoided. I tried that. Mind you, the congregation was quite open-minded, actually, and gave me free rein in the pulpit. But when it came to he second Sunday in May, the expectations were summarized in these words of one of the more out-spoken women in the church: “I’m bringing my MOTHER to church on MOTHER’S DAY, Reverend, and you can talk about anything you want. But it had better include MOTHER, and it had better be GOOD!
Mother’s are amazing people. I know, because I have one. Do you remember Paul Reiser who starred in the television sit-com “Mad About You” with Helen Hunt? He wrote a book titled “Couplehood” back in 1994 in which he said this.
I saw a kid who had some dried-up food on his face. His mother took out a tissue, spat on the tissue and rubbed it into the kid’s face. I’m not making this up. This goes on, in communities around our country, on a daily basis. It’s enough to break your heart. You know that if babies could talk, that’d be the first thing they’d bring up. “Hey, don’t do that. It’s revolting. Would you like it if someone did that to you? Okay, then.”
It is disgusting, but it sure does work, doesn’t it? There’s something in Mother Saliva that cleans like nobody’s business. All women, once they give birth, their enzymes change, and saliva becomes like Ajax. It’ll clean anything: a baby’s face, a countertop, a Buick – you get enough mothers, you could do a whole car in 30, 40 minutes.
And the best part is, it doesn’t even have to be your mother. I go up to total strangers: “Miss, do you have kids? You do? Could you spit on this? I can’t get it out.”
So it’s Mother’s Day. I don’t want to put a damper on the day for you, but you do need to face some facts. You get one day a year dedicated to you and you alone. Egg Salad gets a whole week; as do pickles, pancakes, split pea soup, clowns, carpenter ants, and aardvarks. Peanut Butter gets a month (March), chickens get a month (September), and even Oatmeal gets a whole month (January).
I probably can speak for a whole lot of families when I say that, without mothers, life would be pretty ugly. Mothers are really good at multi-tasking. Every once in a while, something I do will set Toni off and she’ll start yelling at me. “You men are all alike. You expect us to work, but still be responsible for all of the stuff that goes on around the house like cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children. On top of that you still us to be sex goddesses when you get home. You men are all alike.”
The fact of the matter is, Toni is much better at multi-tasking than I am. I paid the bills for the first fifteen years or so of our marriage, but really didn’t do a very good job of it. I always had trouble balancing the check book. We were always being hit by late fees. Since she took over, everything is paid on time, the check book is balanced, and we haven’t been overdrawn for years. I never have any money. When Dominique was still home, she came to me asking for lunch money one day. I loaded her up with nickels, dimes, and quarters because that’s all I could find on top of my dresser.
Toni is able to do all of this stuff while carrying on her own hectic schedule. Multi-tasking for me on the other hand, means being able to get to the bathroom and the refrigerator during commercial breaks of “CSI: Miami.”
If I had to guess, I would hazard that Mary, the mother of Jesus was much the same way. I would guess that while Joseph was out in the shop doing his wood-working thing, Mary was in the house in charge of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, social engagements, sewing, mending, caring for the children, and a hundred other everyday tasks.
Mary and Joseph were in the habit of traveling to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. This was a big deal, a significant religious pilgrimage, and a very special opportunity. It turned out to be especially memorable when Jesus was twelve years old.