Certainly, let’s pause to honour and give thanks for the women among us who are mothers, grandmothers et al. The mothering ones who give us life, who nurture us and who bring us into adulthood. The ones who guide us, inspire us and call us their children.
In the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 31, the virtues of women are listed in verse after verse:
She rises while it is still night
And provides food for her household
And tasks for her servant girls.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
For all of her household are bathed in crimson.
But It is important to remember the women in our midst who were thrown out of their parent’s homes because they were pregnant (my mother was one such woman). Let us remember the women who suffer domestic violence and live in constant fear. Let us remember the hundreds of missing and murdered indigenous women and children who cry out to be heard.
We have spun Mother’s Day in such a way that we have made a caricature of womenhood, by portraying women as beautifully coiffed and in perfect control of their world. I will never forget the pictures that were flashed around the globe when Kate Middleton, after having given birth just hours before, stood on the steps of the hospital in 6 inch heels, wearing a designer dress with a beaming husband by her side. Really? That picture did a grave disservice to the millions of women around the world who bear their children in squalor and in wretched circumstances.
The poverty of women and children around the world is appalling, so what better day than Mother’s Day to acknowledge this crushing fact. Perhaps there is no better day than today to recognize that this will not change without a concerted effort by ALL of us. Men are not the “enemies” here, but allies in addressing the dreadful statistics that create so much suffering in the world.
People of faith – US – need to challenge the injustice of women receiving a full third less in salary than a man doing the same job. We need to stand up to the derogatory and demeaning sexual remarks that are made about women. We need to educate and eradicate sexism. And, above all, we need to have the courage to bring about changes that honour and respect every member of God’s human family.
Mother’s Day is an important day to be reminded of all these things!
Happy Mother’s Day, Linda