1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
When I think of the mother’s I have had in my life, my mind brings me back to this verse, the heart of motherhood. True, it is not all about just women, it applies to all of us, but especially to those who choose to parent a child, even if that child is not their own. This was the blessing most of my life.
My beautiful mother passed in 1959, just after I had turned 7. She was so ill that for the last 4 months of her life, I had to go live with my grandparents. But I still remember her soft voice, her heart of love, her selflessness. The way she calmly handled all my childish ways. Like when I determined to run away from home, so she helped me pack. (Then watched out the window to see what I would do, which was go three doors down, sit on my little suitcase, and cry. My grandfather, sent I am sure by a phone call from Mama, retrieved me, and she welcomed me back, and offered me a snack.)
I started to tell the story of each of them, but there is not enough room to tell of women who showed their love by smacking the sense into me while simultaneously binding up my wounds. Those who never complained no matter what happened to them, but went to bat for me when it was my own stupidity that got me into the mess. Women (and some men) who gave me words of wisdom at just the right time, when my ears were open and my mouth was shut. Those who put up with all of my shenanigans, even when it would seem that everyone had given up on me, and still loved me.
For those mother’s I have lost to eternity, I know I will see them again. No I do not believe they are angels in heaven now, for angels have unending work ahead of them that they were created for and these mother’s now have rest. But in a sense, they were angels here on earth with what seemed like unending work ahead of them, sent by God to guide me and show me the way to go.
Overall, all I can say this; the trademark of any true mother is love. It is about being patient and kind, putting up with all kinds of nonsense and heartbreak, yet still believing that, no matter what, it will all turn out for the best. Yes, it is about wiping two pounds of peanut butter off of your youngest child because the oldest believed he could “paint” him. Yes, it is about waiting up for what seems an eternity for your offspring to show up in the middle of the night, having been who-knows-where. Yes, it is about answering questions that have no answers, repeatedly until you want to scream. But it is also about snuggling the little ones, being amazed by the teens, and finally watching as they go through their own struggles, and succeed. Yes, it is all about giving love, possibly never to receive it back until doomsday, but it is also about planting the fruit of love, and watching it grow in beauty.
Ah, the heart of motherhood!! Love. Unfailing, determined love, that never gives up, never gives in, and keeps on going. I hope today for all those mother’s, that there will be one moment of peace and knowing that this is the biggest part of God’s plan for your life; to guide your children to Him.