I sometimes wonder why Jesus, the manifest representation of a loving God, showed up on planet Earth as a man and not as a mom. He was called a man of sorrows who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, tempted in every way that we are yet was without sin. I'd just love to see how God incarnate would handle third trimester, or getting a newborn to latch, or manage a 3:00 a.m. feed, or cajole a toddler to eat FOR THE FORTY-EIGHTH TIME, without losing his cool. Because, you know, that would be helpful. To me, at least.
I'd also like to know how Jesus would manage other sorrows, ones I haven't even come across yet, with patience, longsuffering, and love. Would he be on the PTA? Would he worry about sex education curriculum? Would he return to work? How would he spend the long nights, lying awake, while his kids went to summer camp, attended proms, or moved into residence?
You don't have to be a mom to know what moms deal with. The internet is crowded with mommy blogs, advice columns, hashtags, and memes depicting a life spent raising littles. And we're pretty vocal about it in person too. #sorrynotsorry
The fact is, everyone has a mother. Since science hasn't reached the point where humans can be incubated outside of a womb, Matrix-style, we all came from a woman. That doesn't mean that she stuck around or was the best model of maternal grace but, trust me, those nine months alone are worth being grateful for.
Mothering is handled in all sorts of ways by all sorts of people. Sometimes other women step into the mothering role for a time, or a lifetime. And all these women, all these mothers, deserve thanks.
May means Mother's Day and gratitude is something we can all benefit from. It keeps us mindful of the blessings we receive from women who have carried and cared for us - and will continue to do so - throughout our lives. The truth is we will never know how much or in what capacity our mothers and fill-in-mothers loved and cared for us.
And, maybe, the kindness, patience, selflessness, wisdom and love we have been shown by our mothers, whoever they may be, will show us a side of God's love we all need.