For all who find Mother’s Day to be a painful moment, me too.
Tears streamed from my eyes even as the anesthesia wore off; the nurse said that I cried through the whole procedure, even as I slept. My hands caressed and held my empty abdomen and the sheer vacancy of life pushed my tears to sobs.
Three days ago I was full of life and every part of my body responded to that life. My belly was hard and rounded. Smells were so overwhelming that they brought nausea. My hair was full and shiny and buttons pulled at my bust line. Every inch of me was changing to grow a tiny heartbeat, ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, a tiny brain, tiny but full lips, knees, and downy hair. Miraculous and mysterious life, created from love and longed for, had been growing deep inside the hidden places of my womb.
My pregnancy officially ended the Tuesday before what was to have been my first Mother’s Day as a mother. Though still in utero, this life had already changed my identity to “mom.” But now, the life was gone. Heartbeat missing, limbs no longer growing. I wondered, as that Sunday approached, was I still a mother?
“In the beginning, God created…” these familiar words settle differently into my heart as a mother. Scripture doesn’t say that God built or planned or established. God created. God nurtured and grew and gave birth to. God created.
God, our Mother, first created a womb where life could grow and then created our lives to be lived inside it. God, our Mother, created a tiny heartbeat, ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, a tiny brain, tiny but full lips, knees, and downy hair. Miraculous and mysterious life, created from love and longed for. And God said, “It is very good.”
God created life within that womb to be perfect. And it was. It was beautiful in location and rich in relationship: relationship between man and woman and relationship with God. All this perfection was contained within the circle of God’s love. In this place, maturity was the natural, grace-filled trajectory of life. The garden sustained the lives of Adam and Eve, God’s miraculous and mysterious loves, and encouraged them to thrive. They were created to grow stronger, wiser and more compassionate, while falling ever deeper into a loving relationship with God and therefore with one another. How God, our Mother, must have beamed with the fullness of this love!
Separation. The heartbeat of love stutters and growth jolts. Estrangement. A choice to pursue independence over relationship.
I wonder if God felt empty. Did God long for them in the same way that I longed for that baby who was gone? Did God mourn the absence and feel the changes in Her very being? Did God’s womb ache with emptiness as we fell?
God, Our Mother.
Blessed be your name.
May your womb be full of life and joy, on earth now as it was in Eden before.
Would you give us this day our daily milk?
Forgive us for separation as we forgive those who injure us.
For yours is the life, connection, and honor for ever and ever.