For those of you out there, especially those of us males, here's a heads up regarding an important date for your diary. 'Mothers Day', or more accurately, 'Mothering Sunday' is due to fall on the 27th of this month. Please don't forget to send a card... at very least!
With its roots in the Middle Ages, 'Mothering Sunday', always falls exactly 3 weeks before Easter Sunday. It was when people, who had moved away from their home town would be encouraged to return to visit their 'mother church' – and their mothers – always on the 4th Sunday of Lent.
But with this year's Mothering Sunday now approaching fast I'm reminded of the day when, as a young child, back in the early 50's, my mother took me shopping along Kirkcaldy High Street. However, before starting her homeward journey she popped into one last shop, leaving me outside in my pram... as was common practice in these days.
But on exiting the shop she spotted a number 2 bus, jumped on it and was halfway home when, to her horror, she suddenly remembered me! So, in no small panic she leapt off at the next stop, and as it was in the days before mobile phones, she had no alternative but to cross the road and wait for a bus to take her back from whence she had come! Mightily relieved she returned to find me safe and sound, especially as I'd begun to make a start on the loaf of bread I'd discovered beside me in the pram!
But at this point I should stress that this particular incident had absolutely no influence upon my becoming an RSSPCC Inspector (children not animals) later in life! Nor did the day, when as a toddler, in the run-up to Christmas she lost me in Woolworths, or when 'entertaining' me one day on Seafield beach by throwing a stone into the water, she missed the sea and hit me on the head instead! No, despite early experiences such as these I look back on my childhood days with a genuine attitude of gratitude. I'm extremely thankful that my parents provided the quality of care and protection I needed and were prepared to make the many sacrifices for me and my wee sister in the way they did.
Although some extra money would have been of great benefit, my mother considered her family responsibilities to have been of top priority, and as a consequence was always there for us. Of course I realise that nowadays it's necessary for many mothers to work outside the home, yet I know from grateful experience that there felt nothing better than the warmth of my mother's loving welcome after a difficult day at primary school and the long walk home in the cold and rain. Yes, I've always been very grateful for her love and care... knowing very well that so many children grow up deprived of such positive experiences.
But of course the best mother there could ever be wouldn't begin to better the greatest act of sacrificial love the world has ever known...
'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'
So perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad thing to pause in the midst of all the pressures and priorities of today to thank our mothers afresh for all we've taken for granted in the past. And if also we were to reflect upon, and make a positive response to, God's sacrificial love for us, well, surely that wouldn't be such a bad thing either!