Summary: Mom the unseen person is the one usually behind the scenes suffering in silence.
Today we are here to worship the Lord but we are also celebrating Mother’s. Today is their day. Cards have been sent or given and dinners will be prepared and eaten in honor of those women who hold a special place in many hearts.
As children we don’t really see the significance of our mother’s until either we are out on our own, raising our own children or still remembering our mother’s words in retrospect. It is then that we begin to sound like them.
“Don’t run with that (fill in the blank). You could trip and put your eye out.” “If you keep making that face it’ll stick.” “Don’t run in the house.” “Your going to wear that?” “Your not going to wear that!” “You can’t go into the pool yet. You have to wait an hour after you eat. . . because you’ll get cramps that’s why.” “Yes, we’re almost there.” “Don’t chew with your mouth open.” “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” “No you can’t have that (fill in the blank), it’ll spoil your dinner.” “I don’t care what so and so’s mother said. Your not going.” “Don’t put that in your mouth. You don’t know where it’s been.” “Because those vegetables are good for you.” “If everyone else jumped off the Brooklyn bridge would you?”
Mothers make us civilized. We are born with a wild natural will. We’re inclined to sling the dog around by it’s tail, fry ants under a magnifying glass, play with dirty insects, self inspect our diapers. Not long after we arrive, we insist on running willy-nilly stick in hand, lollipop in mouth, into the street, toward the open flame, and those ratty goats at the petting zoo.
It’s no wonder we think of mothers as saints. Loving us when no one else could or would, hugging us when we were sad, and cautioning us against that tempting gum under the restaurant table top. Where would we be without them?
Some of us most certainly would not be where we are today at this very moment without our mothers.
We all have heard the parable about the prodigal son a number of times before. We have heard about the father and the other brother. But there is someone missing. Where’s Mom?
That is what I want us to focus on today as we read the story of the Prodigal. Where was mom? She was probably where most mother’s are beside her husband taking care of her family in the midst of crisis.
She may not have agreed with her husbands decision to allow her baby to leave home before she thought he was ready.
She knew what trouble lay ahead for him. Yet she stood silently by and allowed him to go. It isn’t until later that we find out what she was really thinking.
She writes in her journal: “Where’s my son?” She begins to think how disorienting it is that one of her children has left the world that she and her husband had raised them in. The world of faith. Here begins an unexpected and painful season for her.
She remembers the thirty six hours of labor she went through to bring this child into the world. Nothing could have prepared her for the pain of childbirth. Nothing will prepare her for the pain and grief her son will bring her on his journey. It will shake up her well ordered, and biblically packaged existence.
Was she aware of the early warning signs. Mother’s know when your out with your friends smoking a few blunts, snorting a few lines and drinking a few beers. They lie awake until you stagger in from your ever increasing late nights. They think back on your childhood and try to see the little boy or girl in the person they see now.
Like this mother, my own mother spent many nights laying in her bed wondering what her children were doing. She knew with each one of her children that we were not where we should be. Each one of her children walked away from the faith that they knew to go into the far country.
Before my mother went home to be with the Lord she took comfort in knowing that each of her children knew the Lord.
Like my mother this mother probably remembered when her son would ask questions about faith and tell her he was afraid to die. She probably along with her husband explained that we need not fear death because of the relationship we can have with God. She remembers how her son and husband knelt down and prayed. How he was deepening his relationship with the Lord by studying the Torah.
But it was in this young man’s teen years that he began to drift away from the faith. She probably began to wonder like so many mothers wonder, “what went wrong? What had I done to turn my child against me?”