Sunday is Mother’s Day, which leads to some reflections. I had a good mother, who was as loving as she could be, on most days. I have no idealized concept of her, for I know her reality. She did the best that she could, but some days she fell far short. Despite that, the God I worship loved her and so I do too.

Over the years as a local pastor, I have given Christian council to far too many who were physically, emotionally, and mentally mangled by their mothers. So Mother’s Day is a painful experience for them. Some had been physically struck multiple times by a drunk Mom filled with vile hatred for herself and any issue from her womb. Some had always been an extra mouth to feed in the house, or an emotional and mental punching bag whenever their own poor esteem got the best of them. Some were abandoned for long periods of time while their Moms fulfilled their lives at the expense of their children.

I also have sat with mothers, who have known the falseness of the sentiment of Mother’s Day. Many do not receive phone calls, cards, or chocolates. If they do, it is the first time they hear from their children in months. There are mothers who have suffered years of physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of their children. For such, Mother’s Day is a day of false hope.

So this Mother’s Day I think of my Mom. She was no saint, but I love her and think of her fondly. I give thanks for what she got right, and I forgive where she fell short. I grieve in solidarity with children and mothers for whom Mother’s Day is a day of pain and sorrow. I offer them the hope of Christ for healing and restoration.