The Rev. Peter A. Lane
“To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes, to let it go, to let it go.” Mary Oliver, from her poem “In Blackwater Woods.”
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and so a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in our lives. We all share a fundamental reality – we’ve all got a mom, and the fortunate among us have several women in our lives who, while they didn’t give birth to us, they have nevertheless nurtured us and shaped the way we live life. Let’s give thanks for them, too!
Our relationship with our mothers inevitably changes over time as both our needs as children and our moms’ abilities to care for us shift and change. I remember sitting beside my mother’s bed, holding her hands as she was dying, and giving thanks for all that those hands had done for me, my siblings, and so many others. This once capable and caring woman was now completely dependent on others for her care. I give thanks for the opportunities I had to be part of caring for my mom.
That’s one of the things we discover in life – the give and take required to live life fully. Sometimes we are the ones in need of care and at other times we become the caretaker, the one who provides whatever is needed for life. When we can find that balance in our daily living, life flows more smoothly and joy appears more readily.
It makes me think, too, of the other Mother we all share – Mother Earth. Like our biological mothers, Mother Earth is the one who both gives us life and enables us to go on living. She provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food that nourishes our bodies, and the beauty and wonder that delight us and enriches our living. And as with our biological mothers, there needs to be a give and take in our ongoing relationship with Mother Earth. What does that balance sheet look like these days?
As stewards of all that God has created and entrusted to our care, it is vital that we stop and take stock of how we’re doing in the spiritual practice of being good stewards. Is there balance in how much we take and how much we give? Are we doing all that we can to ensure a healthy and life-giving relationship with our Mother Earth?
For the next couple of months we’re going to be offering several opportunities for us to not only think about the healthiness of our relationship with Mother Earth, but to take active steps to improve our relationship with God’s life-giving and sustaining creation. I hope that as these chances to become better stewards by learning more about this particular part of God’s creation we inhabit and our impact on it, that you’ll make the time and effort to recommit yourself to loving your mother and giving thanks in word and action for the life she’s given and sustains in all of us. As human beings we can continue to live our lives even after our biological mothers have passed on. The same can’t be said for our Mother Earth. She needs and deserves our loving care.
See you in church.