Word of the Week

Looking at Mother's Day Differently

As I watched tears flow down cheek after cheek during the pastoral prayer on Mother's Day while serving at the pastor of Washington Plaza Baptist Church, I thought anew about the concept of celebrations days not being so celebratory for many.

This was the prayer we were praying:

Mothers come in many different forms, and today we celebrate them all!

Thank God for mothers!

For those women who have joined God in heaven and whom we miss dearly here on earth.

Thank God for the mothers of the past.

For every woman who is raising her children now making sacrifices for her children’s becoming.

Thank God for the mothers of today.

For those women who have taken in others’ children through adoption and foster care, showing us that the love of God far extends beyond biological ties.

Thank God for the mothers with hearts so big.

For those women who have lost a child to death or want to have a child know they can’t, carrying on with the pain of lost dreams.

Thank God for the mothers who are so strong.

For all the women who are “mother hens” in our community; who nurture us, support us and guide us in our becoming.

Thank God for the mothers in spirit.

We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced our lives in so many ways.

We pray that we will honor them in everything we do. Amen.


On this day, even with the sensitivity to all types of mothers in my congregation, there was still much sadness. An entire day on the cultural calendar set to honor mothers just seemed like a slap in the face to the pains deep within many of loss!

Yet, such experiences, I know, are not limited to Mother's Day alone. Father's Day can be quite difficult as well as Christmas, Easter, and even Valentine's Day.

For example, I've had single friends tell me that even if they are happy with the state of their social lives, the romantic love fest of Valentine's Day seems to be like one huge slap in the face as if something wrong with them.

And this is the truth I know: for as much as any day of our life is joyous, it is sad for another. As much one day is painful for us, there is hope being birthed anew in our neighbor. And, this is the human story. And, in the body of Christ, we are able to become more human by having community to understand this story.

Let us not be sad or simply happy, but let us be a community that holds one another life experiences and emotions in our hearts so that we may truly come to understand what it means to be woven together as one family.

I truly believe we need each other on days like Mother's Day. We really do.