Saturday night, a four-year-old boy came to me at church asking for prayer for his mom. The woman who was with him, was not his mom, she was his foster mom.
He looked at me with his sweet brown eyes and told me his name. It was all I could do to maintain my composure to pray for her and to pray for him.
I swallowed hard and asked Jesus to make His presence known.
The kind of presence that supersedes understanding. The kind that brings joy and peace.
I wondered where she was, whom she was with and what was so worth having that it cost her the ability to raise her own child. Then, my mind went to all the times I’ve chosen wrong, the mistakes I’ve made.
God’s grace became more real.
I prayed asking Him to keep her safe, for provision, restoration and for hope.
God chooses to be faithful and love us always regardless of our faults and failures. So, as much as I wanted that little boy to know he has not been abandoned, that Jesus is with him, in the same moment it became very clear, his mother likely needs to know the same thing.
After the service closed, I went to pick up my own son who was so excited to give me the craft he made in his classroom. A beautiful, messy masterpiece very appropriate for a two-year-old made especially for me on mother’s day. I came undone knowing this other boy made something for his mom and without a doubt had a sense of sadness that comes with the uncertainty of being able to give it to her or not. Perhaps and Lord willing, he already knows his sadness can be directed to prayer.
Would he see her the next day? Would he save it for her or give it to the one who is trying to love and take such good care of him. Thank God for foster moms who care. The ones who are in it knowing there will be days like this. Thank God for moms who love in hopes of permanence, as well as those who love with the hope of reconciliation to another mom.
This was a game changer for Mother’s Day.
I am among the many who look forward to a little “me time” on Mother’s Day. I went for my manicure and pedicure and I enjoyed sleeping in. I loved having my coffee served to me and I appreciated not doing dishes or thinking about the meals for the day.
But that little boy shifted the gears in my heart to pray grace and peace over the mothers who can’t care for their children. Whether by choice or the chains they were born into, Mother’s day was a day of praying grace and peace over them.
Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but to notice who didn’t come that day. The ones who are still living in the not yet. The mother with a mama’s heart and no baby to hold. The ones who have had to surrender the babies they birthed because a mama’s heart always wants what’s best for her child. The mothers lost in grief or those who haven’t been able to find their way out from the shame of an abortion. The ones who woke up like it was another day because there is not a father around to teach their children how to love a woman well. These are the mothers we need to pray for but not just on this day. The daughters who are angry with their mothers. The ones who grew up like the boy from the night before and have a whole host of emotions bubble up to the surface around the second Sunday in May.
While many will rise up and be called blessed, there is a remnant of mothers, daughters and sons. Those who are living in a silent place, a sometimes isolating place if we are not careful, where the voices of shame will silence the voice of Grace.
Let us be like the voice of grace that kneels to the sand and writes a message of hope. Let us be the voice of grace that says, “I know, and you are still loved and wanted.” Let us be the arms of grace that pulls her in for a hug when she feels no one will accept her.
Driving home Sunday afternoon, I thought about the little boy’s mom. If she didn’t get to see him, did she want to see him? Did her heart ache for his scent, and his sweet little voice that calls her by name? Does she live in regret or is she not even there yet?
She is no different than I am. Perhaps full of failure with many shortcomings. It’s only by grace I have been saved and only by grace I can parent my boys. No one grows up with believing one day they will lose children to the system. No one has children specifically so they can hurt them. Her story is that… it’s a story with a beginning, middle and an end.
The beauty of grace is that it tends to interrupt our lives and though birth pains are usually involved, the result is abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.
So we continue to pray. We continue to wait. We hope for divine interruptions. We sit with the stories of failure, the not yet stories of redemption and the ever-present truth of Grace to be made known.
Grace and peace to all.