Many years ago I officiated a wedding for a couple at a beautiful home within a gated community along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida.
When I arrived at the house the groom warmly greeted me and we walked inside and he graciously introduced me to some of their family. He then said that his bride wanted to talk with me as soon as I arrived, so one of the family escorted me to go up to visit with her, on the fourth floor.
The bride was happy to see me and meet me in person. Prior to this day we had talked a few times by telephone and email. In one of those conversations she asked if I make any mention of children or parenting in my ceremony, and I shared that I do not, but asked if she wanted to for her ceremony. She quickly said “No” and explained how she is unable to have children.
When I met her that day upon arriving to the home, she excused her attendants and family from the room and immediately mentioned our earlier conversation of not being able to bare children. I assured her again that I will not mention anything about children or parenting, and that in my typical simple ceremony I do not unless requested to because of the family dynamics like merging step-families.
We went on to have the wedding ceremony with their family gathered around near a beautiful area next to their pool where there was a line of majestic palm trees. As I talked during the ceremony I was also trying to discern if her slight facial movements timed perfectly as she glanced up at me, were her silent pleas to not mention children or parenting.
After the wedding ceremony the couple thanked me, grabbed some photos with me, and as the bride leaned forward to give me a parting hug, she whispered in my ear “Thank you for not mentioning children.”
That wedding was about 15 years ago, but I think about the bride and our conversations every year around Mother’s Day.
I am grateful for my mother, or I could say my mothers, but I am also cognizant that our world is full of almost mothers. Lady’s who desperately longed for the day to hold and nurture their own child but because of sting of fallen humanity they can not.
I am grateful that my birth mother did the emotionally tough thing of handing me over to a caring adoption agency that arranged for my mom to adopt me and nurture me from 3-months of age until adulthood.
I am so aware of the grief of an imperfect world messed up by sin, and on this Mother’s Day, I am praying for the almost mother’s, the mother’s whose children have died, the mother’s whose children are incarcerated, the mother’s by adoption, the spiritual mother’s by virtue of their spiritual influence within the church, and the one’s who are reminded that they no longer share hugs or calls with their mother’s who are gone.
I don’t have a “thus saith the Lord” for this, but I often wonder about the scene on resurrection morning when the angels are carrying the infants and babies whose life was cut short by evil, I often picture a beautiful scene…the angels of the Lord who hears the prayers of mothers of absent cribs…I picture a scene of amazing joy when those infants and babies are carried to glory and intentionally placed in the arms of earth’s almost mothers.
To our mother’s, I say Happy Mother’s Day. To the almost mother’s in each of lives, I say God has not forgotten your grief, and he “will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25).