I was sitting at a local coffee shop the other day. A member of the community I pastor approached the table where I was engrossed in a book. She had a drink in her hand--I'm guessing a caffe macchiato--and asked if she could sit for a moment. After marking my place in the book, I ask her how she was doing. She said all was well, but wanted to let me know she would be staying away from worship this Mother's Day.
"It's too hard," she explained. Without blowing her cover, I'll just say she described a very difficult journey as a woman that made Mother's Day celebrations very difficult for her. "I don't want to be a downer on a day that for other mom's is a good day," she explained.
That makes two. A dear friend who attends her church 50 of 52 weeks stays away also on Mother's Day. She suffered through five miscarriages, finally accepting childlessness. the pastel way her church celebrates Mom's Day is too painful for her, also.
I have resolved to something about this in my little neck of God's family. We have to do better. There are many, many women's stories colliding on this one day. Somehow, the church must recognize all of them and embrace all of these women. I am convinced there is a way to do this that allows us to celebrate with the women who are bursting with joy and pride this day while grieving with the women for whom this day digs up raw emotion.
This Sunday, at Upper Room, we are going to attempt to do both. Using ancient traditions and resources of the church, including scripture, prayers, communion and singing. It might be a little messy; but I think for women it will offer blessing and healing.
i hope my friends don't stay away. I think they will find themselves sitting in a community who will embrace them.