Philippians: 1: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
On a beautiful Mother's Day God's peace was with us out on North First Street. The Holy Spirit seemed to weave and meander around people, hover over us, and wrap us lovingly in a warm embrace. Soft singing voices with light guitar notes lightly sparkled through the air.....Mother's Day effects all people male or female because everybody has or had a mother, many are mothers, and the reactions are a mixed bag. I was surprised today from the comments that I heard as our North First St. friends worked through the line of food today. Knowing that some of the women out there had lost custody of their children, I told them that there would be a table with flowers and note cards to write down prayer requests for their children. One young man raised his hand and asked if he could fill out one to ask for prayer for his mother...another asked if he could make a card for his mother. Absolutely!! I told them they could use them for whatever they needed. One young lady explained that she had been a mother but she miscarried at 5 months. Another asked for prayer for his mother because she is a drug addict and he wants her back in his life. One of our regulars has lost visitation rights with her baby, but thinks she might be pregnant again. She is only 16 and said that she doesn't like shots because "they hurt" so she doesn't want to go to the dr. I tried to explain the importance of prenatal care, but she really is a child having a child.....very sad. It takes so much more than just carrying a baby to be a mother. Many of the people who we see out there have been so injured by their own mothers. People often repeat what they see....they treat how they were treated, they beat how they were beat, they degrade how they were degraded, and they abuse the way they were abused.
I love being a mother with all of my heart. My children are truly precious gifts from God that I have had the privilage of breathing words of encouragement and life into. Each one is so different and unique from the other, but my love for each of them is immeasurable! I remember thinking after my first baby that I could never have enough love in my heart to love the next baby as much as the first... God's funny though because He makes our hearts out of some crazy stretchy material that stretches and expands around each and every person that the Lord puts in your path to love. There was plenty of room to love the next baby, and the next, and the next...and all of the people who have come into our lives where I have provided that "mothering love".
Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. He tells us to love one another. We repeat what we see. As Christians we are good at quoting the right scripture and preaching it either verbally or non-verbally. We like to do the trendy "Christian things"... such as small groups, meeting for coffee, bible studies, wearing cross necklaces/bracelets/rings, but what God wants us to do is to love one another....to "show" people what it looks like to be Jesus with skin on.... to live it out every day with people of all races, all ages, either sex, all socio-economic groups, gay or straight....People learn by repeating what they see.... I need to keep working on being "imitation worthy" lol! When we were out on North First Street today it felt easy to love others....it felt comfortable like my favorite pair of comfy shorts and t-shirt. Familiar smiles, friendly hugs, words of encouragement flowed so easily. I am always so encouraged by how appreciative they are and how generous to each other they are. They want to make sure that there is enough for everyone....they don't seem to care if the person is tatooed, pierced, gay, striaight, hep-c, or HIV...they will reach into their bag and share what they have...We can all learn from each other.... no matter which side of the table we are on.
One of the young men who stay at the mission brought us an invitation to his graduation. He has been staying at the mission and going to Stanton. He said that after going back 3 times, he is finally graduating. He was so happy and had printed out an invitation to see him "walk" at the Capital Theater. I guess my mother's heart stretches out way past my own children. I am very happy for him because he cares enough to try. Another guy told me that he is going to sign up for the rehab program at the Mission this week...again I felt that "mom" feeling again.."I am so happy for you!" I told him, "You are worth it! You are worth the work that it is going to take to make it through, but I believe you can do it!" I believe we all have that piece in us ...the words of encouragement to offer others that help nundge each of us closer to the person that God has made us to be.
We are all so different, but we are all so much the same... we all want to be loved, accepted, safe, and encouraged... Our Holy Father in heaven does just that... He is the father that we may not have had or the mother's love that we may never have gotten... He is the filler of our emptiness and the encourager of our dreams. Like the heart of a true mother.. He only wants the very best for us!! I pray that you all had a wonderful day today whether you are a mother... or whether you just have one :0) I encourage you to go out this week and try to be "imitation worthy".... I also encourage you to keep your mind fixed on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy." Have a great week! In Jesus Holy Name... Amen! :0)