What makes your mother special? I’m sure your answer is just as unique as she is. We each have our own special connection with our mom. Whether you met her as a newborn baby, or were adopted into her arms later, your description of her would most likely include how she makes you feel, rather than a physical description.
Consider, for example, one of the most famous moms ever. We have no idea what she looked like, although she is featured in many paintings, statues, and other works of art. But wow, what a mom she was! I’m thinking about Mary, Jesus’ mom.
When Mary was told of her impending motherhood by the angel Gabriel, she didn’t question her ability to care for this special baby. She must have known that God, the Father of all, would equip her with the spiritual qualities she needed, like strength, tenderness, and courage.
That’s right: Mary’s great mothering qualities—and your mom’s, too—are spiritual. Unconditional love, kindness, unfailing support, and so on, come from God, divine Spirit. Those mothering qualities are so much a part of God’s nature that 19th century spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy, used Mother as a synonym for God. She wrote, “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 256). And in the same book, she defined Mother as, “God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 592).
Perhaps you’ve considered God as Father, but this may be the first time you’ve thought of God as Mother. There is biblical authority for thinking of God as both Father and Mother. The prophet Isaiah quotes God as saying of Herself, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:12).
Mary was a great example of mothering qualities in action. When Jesus was 12 years old, their extended family went to Jerusalem for the yearly feast of the Passover. Mary was panicked when Jesus turned up missing after the family had gone a day’s journey home. No matter how often I read that account, my heart goes out to Mary and her husband, Joseph, as they frantically return to Jerusalem, looking everywhere for their little boy.
After three long days of searching, they finally find him in the temple speaking with the scholars. Yes, Mary scolded Jesus—what mother wouldn’t have? But he let her know he was about his Father’s, God’s, business. As they all returned home to Nazareth, Mary continued to hold her son’s response in her heart. (See Luke, Chapter 2.) Undoubtedly, it reminded her of Jesus’ divine conception and the great life purpose that lay ahead of him.
Mary saw her child’s potential, and supported him through thick and thin. She was there at the foot of the cross at what seemed like the tragic end of her son’s magnificent career. Jesus looked down and saw her standing steadfastly by him—as always. John describes Jesus’ last touching act of love for his mother like this: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26, 27).
Although our lives may not be as dramatic as those of Mary and Jesus, we all appreciate the way our own mom has also stood by us in our most trying circumstances. Do those great mothering qualities stop when we grow up? Do they leave with our mom when she’s no longer with us? No. In the words of Mary Baker Eddy, “A mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties” (Science and Health, p. 60).
Don’t wait for Mother’s Day! Today and every day, you can thank your mom for always being in your corner, and for always having your back. Thank her for telling you she loves you the most, even though you know she tells your brother the same thing. And remember that her sweetly steadfast, and strongly sympathetic, spiritual qualities are just as permanent and ever-present as their source—our Father-Mother God. You can expect to feel their embrace for eternity.
If you want to see how unique moms really are, go over to mountaintop moments and catch this video.
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!