August 8, 2010

The Heart and Hands of a Mom

Because the emergency hits women where they live more than most men. As hard as it is to ask fans at a rock show to think about the value of a child's life far, far away, or to ask Boardroom U.S.A., or political American for that matter, you do not have to explain to the women of America, the mothers of America, the value of a child's life far away. - Bono

As I’ve transitioned from an independent, career-minded woman to a stay-at-home mom, I’ve watched the change in me and the change in those around me. Is it a lie of the Devil that we’re “just moms”? Why is it that sometimes even those closest to us – our kids, our parents, our spouses – seem to demean our role as subpar?

That’s not what I read in Scripture. The Proverbs 31 lady was pretty industrious. She was very independent. And in verse 20 it says, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hand to the needy.”

Is that what we moms are doing? We work hard. We clean houses and drive carpool. We wipe snotty noses and correct out children ten thousand times a day. But are we opening our arms to the poor? Are we extending our hand to the needy? When was the last time you did anything that would fall in either of those categories?

But what Bono said is right. It should be us as women, as mothers, that feel the value of a child’s life. Do the tears of an African baby mean less than those of our own children? Does the family of the child dying of malnutrition love them any less than we love our own babies? How do we rationalize the time and the money that we expend on luxuries for our families when children go to bed hungry, alone, hurting?

For those of us who are moms, we’ve been given a special heart. A heart that hurts when it hears a baby cry. A heart that forgives when a child repeats the same offense endlessly. A heart that smiles at the clumsy attempts of a toddler to grasp a concept bigger than he is. What are you doing with your heart? Are you allowing yourself to be swallowed in the tedious details of your every day life? Or are you opening your heart to the adventure God has for you?

Moms are also given special hands. Hands that cradle a baby too small to fend for himself. Hands that brush away tears and comfort the wounds that seem so large to little hearts. Hands that guide and support. Hands that discipline, at times, in order to draw a child closer to the person he was intended to be. What are you doing with your hands? What does God want you to do with your hands?

Please do not misunderstand, I do not have the answers to all of the questions I ask. But as mothers, as women, as friends – it is our job to encourage each other to be the person we were meant to be. Mediocrity is the curse of the American middle class. We settle for easily gotten tokens instead of fighting and laying everything we have on the line for true, eternal treasure.

Yes, the idea of sacrificing radically scares me. But the adventure of living fully on task with God as my guide thrills me. I want to teach my children why we are here. I want them to grow a heart for others and learn to submit their will to the only One who knows best.

Will you join me?