In thinking about Mother’s Day, I often reflect back to when each of my children was around three.
My first son had a stuffed animal bunny and would often push him around in the stroller. One day I realized that he was singing a hymn, with words from a poem called “Love” by Mary Baker Eddy (Poems, p. 6). It starts, “Brood o’er us with Thy shelt’ring wing.” This was my son’s favorite hymn, and now he was singing it to his bunny.
I asked him what he was doing, and he said, “Bunny fell down and I’m singing to him to make him feel better.” Oh, how I smiled! That sounded just like me. I loved to sing those healing words to my son. It was just so sweet; he was gently taking care of his bunny, just like a mother.
Well, many years later I had my second child, and he had a little stuffed blue cow. One day he was playing with the little cow, feeding him, when all of a sudden the stuffed animal fell. As he picked him up, I could hear my son tenderly say the sweetest little words, “You know you’re OK. You are God’s child.” I thought, My goodness; that sounds exactly like me, just like a mother.
I laughed a little to myself at how I had gained confidence in my prayers over the years, sometimes going from a whole hymn, to a “quick truth” when helping my little ones. Of course I knew that each situation was different and needed to be handled with discernment, but this still made me smile.
Well, years later I had my third child. He was having a pretend picnic with a few of his stuffed animals when, for some reason, his little bear was thrown over the garden wall. As I watched him from across the lawn, I thought, I wonder … will he sing? Will he give a sweet truth?
To my surprise he picked up the little bear, brushed it off, and lovingly told him that he could get up because he was fine. I laughed out loud! Again, I thought that sounded just like me.
No matter how “big” or “small” the act of comforting, the love behind it is a spiritual law and is really powerful. I’ve learned so much from listening to my children, realizing that with my family, my friends, and even our little animals (we have a full house!), Father-Mother God is there for each one of us, helping us know what to say or what to do, in every moment. And our children are listening to us.
Hymn 174 from the Christian Science Hymnal offers this inspiration:
Like as a mother, God comforteth His children;
Comfort is calm, that bids all tumult cease;
Comfort is hope and courage for endeavor,
Comfort is love, whose home abides in peace.
(Maria Louise Baum, © CSBD)
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son, or daughter, that tender mothering quality—straight from our Father-Mother God—is there for each of us, not only nurturing us, but also being lovingly expressed by you and me.