Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Eve

On this Mother's Day Eve I spent some time with my 100-year-old mother.  She is getting more confused these days but she has not yet lost her love for her children.

Not every mother is a loving mother, of course, but the vast majority of them are.  Most mothers would make and have made huge sacrifices for their children.

I am thinking tonight of my trip to the Dominican Republic in 2009 to help distribute Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  At one site when we were finished giving out boxes I remember how a crowd of mothers from the neighborhood showed up to try to get gifts for their children.  A church leader tried to explain that we had no more boxes, but those mothers were loudly advocating for their children.  The situation became so unsettling that we had to quickly board our van and leave the area.

I remember sitting in the back of the bus as my friend Pam Hatchell said, "I get it.  I understand how those mothers feel."

Yes, as mothers we understand that feeling of wanting to make life better for our children.  But can we really understand what life is like for so many mothers around the world?

I sit in my comfortable living room on this Mother's Day Eve and wonder what it is like....

--to carry water for miles each day just to survive
--to feed my children dried clay just to fill their stomachs and stave off the pain of hunger
--to see my dreams for my child to have an education come crashing down because I can't buy my child a pencil
--to know that my daughter will never have the right to go to school
--to see my child's feet filled with painful 'jiggers' that burrow into the skin of her feet because she doesn't have shoes
--to hold my feverish baby and know that she may die of malaria because we have no access to drugs
--to know when I hold my infant that there is a 50/50 chance she will die before the age of five

No.  I don't get it.
I have never been a "have not."
I don't understand.

But I will keep trying to imagine what it is like and I pray that imagining will keep me praying and fighting for a chance for their children.  Who are really OUR children.

I can't help them all.  But I CAN do something.

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