Mothers, we all have one right? Mother, Mom, Mama, she birthed us, sacrificed for us, nursed us when we were sick, has gotten us out of jams, fed our bellies, clothed us, our personal taxi driver, comforted us, listened to us, guided us and so on. Psalms 127:3 says “children are a gift.” Proverbs 31 has a lot to say about the role of a Mother. When Jesus came, He changed the perspective on mothering and family teaching us that we are family to the church, those in the Kingdom with us…. and caring for others is part of His commandment. For some children, Mother is just a name for the woman who birthed you. She is someone you don’t really have a relationship with because she abandoned you, maybe she was taken from you because of drug abuse or incarceration. Maybe she had no Mama and was never really shown how to take care of her own children, and due to neglect you were removed from her home. Maybe you weren’t protected by her and were abused. She made choices, choices you didn’t have any say in and you were taken out of that situation, often traumatically. Sadly, that is the exact circumstances of 14,000 children in the state of Georgia, 500 of them here in our county. May is the month for Mother’s day, and also Foster Care Awareness. It is understood, not everyone can foster, but everyone can do something. We get to choose the something.
Recently, someone mentioned to me a portion of the Great Divorce written by C. S. Lewis, written about heaven and hell and he describes a scene in heaven of celebrating mothering.
“First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.
I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer’s features as a lip or an eye.
But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.
“Is it?…is it?” I whispered to my guide.
“Not at all,” said he. “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”
“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”
“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”
“And who are these gigantic people…look! They’re like emeralds…who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?
“Haven’t ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”
“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
“They are her sons and daughters.”
“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
“Aye, she was one of the great ones”. I LOVE that. See, living with a Kingdom mindset, living with eternity in mind just might change our perspective on what may seem hard, or undoable but yet you may be just the perfect Mom for a foster child who needs to be shown a bit of love and concern, to let them know they do matter. Being a Mom, a Mother or a Mama doesn’t have to just be to children that we birthed, that is what is so sweet about the picture C. S. Lewis writes about. The truth is that being a foster family is hard work. Maybe the reward will be here on earth or maybe it will be in eternity. Be brave Mamas. There are some children that need a Mom. If you are interested in foster care, or other ways to serve foster children or foster families you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
God sets the lonely in families… Psalms 68:6