Monday, May 09, 2005

And let's not forget the "other mothers"...

Having written about my biological mom, I have to tell you, too, of my other moms.

"Other moms," you may ask?

Yes indeed. They came from church, they came from the communities of recovery - and when I was a lost little boy (which still happens at 48, God help me) they're the ones who have picked me up, dusted me off, encouraged me, fed me, housed me, and generally said, "OK, stop that crap!" (yes, even in those words, sometimes). They are as responsible as the mother who gave me birth for my still being alive, sober, even fractionally sane, and still a Christian.

Brooke S., the wife of my first sponsor, is a raspy-voiced lady with the same "colorful" tinge to her language that my mom had - and has tried to both kick my butt and open my mind repeatedly over the years. Delphine H., wife of my late mentor and pastor Tom, suffered through my first year sober in Kansas, and listened to the wreckage of my divorce in their church's Helpmates group. She was, and is, one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Bev A. and Mary Lou L. made sure that I was always a part of their family gatherings when I was a single guy in a church full of married folk. Bev and her husband Jerry, and Mary Lou and Neil (and their families) have been so terribly supportive of me in every way possible - I absolutely could not have made it through any part of this last year without them. Judy F. and her husband Pastor John have been prayer partners, discernment partners, and general hosts-with-the-mostest. I know I always have a room, and a place at the table, with all of them, and that's a good feeling to know.

Sandy M. has been part "mom" and part "sister" since my days in church in Prairie Village. She and I have remained in every-other-day phone contact ever since I left Kansas for the Big City. She has listened to more whining, more doubts, more tears, more laughter than you could imagine. I'm grateful for her thoughts, her prayers, and her support.

When things fell apart at my first church, they were the ones who encouraged me. When I spent 5 years going to school part-time thinking about getting ready to prepare to go to seminary full-time, they were part of the discernment process. When it all fell apart a year ago, they were the ones that I cried with. As I've struggled through a year that seems to have been FedEx'd straight from the bowels of hell, at times, they have been encouraging and sympathetic voices and prayer warriors.

Only God could have given me a flock of women like this.

So, very late on Mother's Day, may this by my virtual card-to-the-world to let each of you know how grateful to God I am that when my own mother's time on earth ran out, each of you have stepped in to keep me (as much as is possible) on the Broad Highway of love and faith. If there is anything good, kind, decent, loving, or faithful about me, you are each at least part of the reason that it's still there. A belated, but no less heartfelt, "happy Mother's Day."



Michael said...

What I particularly like about this is the recognition that family connections sometimes exist with people with whom we share very little in the way of DNA codes. Thank God for all the other mothers out there! You sometimes see a theologically absurd slogan, "God couldn't be everywhere, and so invented mothers." I think mother's couldn't be everywhere either, so God invented OTHER moms to help out.

I won't even tell you who my Partner and I shared our "Best Mom in the World" cake with this weekend. He was pleased, though.

Larry said...

This is beautiful, Steve; they are your mothers in every real sense of the word. I love Jesus' statement in Matthew:

" Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."