Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Originally Mothers Day was founded by Julia Ward Howe -- you know, the girl scout? -- and its purpose was to be "a day in which mothers around the world would join together to call for peace." Julia's object in starting Mother's Day was not to put mothers on a pedestal, but rather to draw mothers out of their kitchens and parlors into the public square, to unite as many women as she could in a common cause: the protection of children from war. Or, as she put it, "to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace."

Which makes sense, really, because according to Marcus Borg in his book Meeting Jesus again for the First Time, the word compassion has its root in the noun that in its singular form means 'womb.' So compassion means to feel with another in a visceral way, the way a mother feels for her child; the way God feels for all of creation; to feel and to act as God acts: in a lifegiving and nourishing way.

So perhaps we should think of Mother's Day not just as an opportunity to honor our mothers, but as an invitation to care for and protect all of creation as God -- and, if we're lucky, our mothers -- has/have cared for and protected us.

I'm just sayin...

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