Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Giving Cards for Mother's Day

“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?  Can she feel no love for a child she has borne?  But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!”  Isaiah 49:15

Abdul read without any embarrassment some flowery poems he composed about his mother. No doubt his beautiful sweet wife wished he would compose some endearing poem about her. Muslim mothers are sacrificial in their love for their children; especially their sons. Islam and the culture esteem motherhood. They have taught me a lot. 

The job of motherhood among my Muslim friends is presently being challenged as more and more women juggle outside work and motherhood. They are frequently left with most of the domestic responsibilities resulting with new tensions in households. It has been my observation that  conservative Muslim women who stay at home and have not had higher education surprisingly appear quite peaceful and secure. Not always but it has been an observation. There seems to be an acceptance of their prescribed role. Perhaps there is a resignation that it would be either impossible or not permissible to enter the working world outside the home. Some of my other Muslim and Jesus follower friends, however, feel enormous pressure to help share the financial load with their husbands. When they do go to work outside the home they often experience significant tiredness.  As a result the subject of motherhood comes up frequently on my visits in their homes. These young women look to older women to speak into their tensions; especially if their mothers are across the ocean. Many of them feel pressure from our western society’s value to become independent and have a job. Some of them harbor a sense that something is wrong or deficient with them if they don’t.  One of my Muslim friends asked me for help in filling out her citizenship application. There was a question on the form: Do you stay at home? Give your explanation. I was shocked they had to explain. 

Recently I went to a card store and bought many beautiful Mother’s Day cards which will be given to my Muslim and Jesus follower friends.  Encouraging and affirmative words about motherhood are sentimentally expressed in them. It delights me to give these cards to my friends and then ask if I may pray that God will help them and bless them in their big job of mothering. Single moms or moms who have lost a child through death are given priority attention. Sometimes I give them a real or a silk rose or even a bouquet of flowers along with the card. A homemade cake is a lovely gesture of blessing. In the past we have had Mother’s Day parties where the group shares about their mothers. Mother’s Day is an excellent time to speak into their lives and also to share how God’s heart is like a mother’s, full of unconditional love and tenderness. Such sharing often sounds unfamiliar but attractive to them.

Mother's Day is a time when Muslims and Christians experience a common bond of each having a mother.

Dear heavenly Father, please give me an opportunity to speak of Your heart to my friends this Mother's Day. In Jesus' name, Amen.