When Mom dies, HOME just ain’t the same. Surely, when God created the world he did not intend for mom’s to die. Surely the death of Mom is one of the saddest parts about sin and death coming into the good creation God made.
We just buried my last grandmother (my last grandparent) this past week. She suffered Alzheimer’s for the last 10 years. She has been gone a long, long time already. And when I went to the service, I saw kin folk who are now spread out all over the nation – family I have not laid eyes on in many years. Some were kids when last I saw them, now they have kids. Some were young when last I saw them, they all look much older now.
HOME felt like it forgot me.
When I grew up, my parents were Neil Diamond fans, and I remembered the line from his song: I Am… I Said.
Well, I’m New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I’m lost between two shores
L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home —New York’s home
but it ain’t mine no more…
Diamond did not link his homelessness to his mother, or lack thereof, but I see a strong coincidence there all the same. And for me, thinking of his music always recalls my mom to my mind, because she loved it so much – may she rest in peace.
My wife is a mother through and through. It is because of her Mother’s Heart that our homeless ministry features foster children. She makes a HOME, and a HOME should be filled with children, so ours is. I tell people that I married the little old lady who lived in a shoe, she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do….
Yeah, when God created the Mother’s Heart, he created the very lynchpin of HOME. We must all honor our Mother’s Hearts. Don’t break it, cherish it. Don’t do like I have done and “leave home”; call, write, visit, and even stay as much as possible. Our society has turned its back on that and all of us kids “left home” for college, for the military, or to become famous. We just assumed, I think, that Mom would always be there, though we killed her.
And when you see homeless people on the streets, consider them motherless. A good Mom in their life would likely go a loooooooooong way toward helping them. (No one ever says that; I don’t know why.) Our streets are filling up more and more with the refuse of humanity, but those are human souls whose compasses naturally point toward Mom. Why would we not take advantage of that as our whole society comes under this threat? Even Jesus displays a Mother’s Heart when he laments over Jerusalem and says, ““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37). Hens do that for their chicks while the barnyard burns down around them. When the smoke clears, the farmer finds his hen cooked to a crisp, but the chicks survive under this mother’s love.
But then there are those lost mothers out there too. They need loads of support. Let’s face it; a mother needs a mother. Without one, she does not know her way. When your mother is on drugs, you are lost. (And there is a LOT of that going around these days!) But if ever there was a place for us to focus our thoughts, prayers, and ministry, surely it would be to rehabilitate those hurting mothers. Even that kind, when she thinks of her children, wishes she was true to them and feels deep regret. And no matter how awful a mother might be, it is her that dying soldier on the battlefield cries for in his last moments.
The compass points here.
I recall the first year they opened Tent City in Lubbock. On Mother’s Day I took a basket full of flowers out there with a note on the side directing the Mothers to take one. I was stunned at how fast that basket emptied out.
Yeah, we need to tend to the Mother’s Heart. It is the lynchpin God made to hold HOME together.