As a writer of Biblical Fiction, I often ponder about the lives of the Bible’s heroes and heroines. Given that it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, my musings today surround biblical mothers and their sons. Most famous of them all is Mary. The virgin who became a mother in the most unexpected and unique manner and would have surely endured public humiliation had her husband-to-be not also had an angelic visit. Yet her son, Jesus, became and still is the savior of the entire world!
I think about Bathsheba who became a mother when she, a married woman, was summoned to the bed of her king, who subsequently had her husband murdered. Yet her son, Solomon, became a famous king and the wisest man on earth. People around the world quote his proverbs to this day!
Then there’s Rachel, the blushing bride who was forced to become a second wife, sharing her husband with her older sister. For a long time, it seemed she would never become a mother, and she eventually died birthing her second son. Yet her first son, Joseph, became the savior of the nation in which he was once a slave. Not forgetting he also saved his entire family from whence came the nation of Israel. Confession: I have a soft spot for Joseph’s story. I had the joy of telling it in my debut novel, A Divine Romance, which details his tale primarily from the unique perspective of Asenath, the woman who became his wife and the mother of his sons. In my novel, Asenath’s journey to motherhood was quite a miraculous one, not unlike that of her husband’s mother, Rachael, grandmother, Rebecca, and great-grandmother, Sarah.
I’m unmarried and have not yet had the privilege of birthing a child, but regardless of the circumstances in which any woman becomes a mother, I have great admiration for mothers. They are wonder women as far as I can tell. Growing a human inside one’s own body for nine months is utterly mind-boggling. And resisting the urge to send said howling humans to meet their maker when they’ve become toddlers trampling on your last nerve is surely a superpower. :) Seriously though, the power of a mother’s love is indeed a force to be reckoned with. I’ve seen the most docile of women become akin to livid lionesses when one of their children is in danger. I know that my mother would not hesitate to give her life if it meant saving mine from death. Yet scripture tells us that though a mother may forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne, the Lord will never forget us because He has us inscribed on the very palm of His hands! (Isaiah 49:15-16). Isn’t that amazing? Just in case you don’t have a good relationship with your mother, or perhaps never felt loved by her, remember that you have a heavenly Father that loves you unconditionally! God’s incomparable love, the kind that makes even maternal love pale in comparison, is what inspires all of my storytelling, and A Divine Romance is no exception. (It would definitely make a great mother's day gift for those who love to read!)
That being said, I would like close by celebrating every woman who is blessed to be a mother, using my love language, poetry:
It’s amazing how wonderful a mother is
To play a multiplicity of roles without duplicity
A double-edged sword she can give life, or take it
And the same hands that caress, can swiftly correct
A mother is simultaneously strong and soft
To shoulder so much yet uplift so many
She can be friendly, even when furious
She can be penniless, yet still generous
A mother can speak volumes in a moment of silence
And move mountains with the power of influence
Each is unique, yet their love is a universal language
It’s truly amazing, how wonderful a mother is!
P.S. I shared a different version of this poem as a spoken word performance on Mother's day last year. Click to watch, "The Wonder of a Mother."
P.P.S. Enjoy this photo of my mom holding me as a baby, long long ago, in a land far far away! Happy Mother's day!