Defining a Mother's Love
// Jeanne DeTellis
Love is a decision, an emotion and often a feeling not possible to define.
A farmer suffered a loss when his barn burned down. As he walked through the ashes, he saw his mother hen charred. His foot nonchalantly kicked the fire victim and under her charred wings were her baby chicks…alive! This love is the all-consuming, non-compromising, sacrificial love. It is paralleled to the love of Jesus our Savior who allowed His body to be crucified so that we can have eternal life.
Those of us who are mothers would like to reach the highest level of motherhood, where our decisions cause us to make the most significant sacrifices for their lives.
Sometimes, by the grace of God, we reach that goal of love. I recall being in the Dominican Republic with my husband George, and he allowed me to leave to tend to my son George, Jr. who was having back surgery. It was my most comforting blessing to be there with my ‘baby chick’ the day of surgery; to dress his wounds, to nurse his health, and see him up and walking without pain. There were other times as a mother, being on the mission field, I was not granted this grace or privilege to be with one of my chicks going through surgery or a crisis in life. These are painful memories when I believe I failed and neglected to give my ‘chick’ the most loving attention. As mothers we all have our memories and regret. But, there is a way to heal these thoughts, as today, we choose to love our chicks, and have eyes to see how we can again reach the highest goals of giving loving attention to keep them healthy and alive through the storms of life. We cannot erase our lack of mothering, but today we can choose to love, and ask forgiveness to begin a new day. God loved us, His chicks, so that His deepest defining love was to give His best—His son Jesus—for our salvation. We mothers are created in His image, like God, and we have a deep defining love to give our children the best. We can pray and ask God to enable us to love our children with our time, treasures and talents: to spare them the most pain in life and to give them the most joy of life. We are human, but we do have the Divine element of love as a force of power and inspiration to protect and enhance the lives of our children.
I do not believe I could find a mother who would tell me that she regrets the time she spent with her children: with homework, at school events, in times of listening, or times when she would make every sacrifice again to nurture her child. But I, along with some of you, may tend to review occasions when we failed to love and heal. Being a pastor’s wife, and then a missionary away from my children for more than 30 years, I can dwell on my neglect—willfully and sometimes not my will. Thank God we have Divine forgiveness and we can ask our children to forgive us so we can love and heal today. ~Jeanne DeTellis