A mother is an amazing creation. My mother happens to be a strong, hardworking, diligent, Christian woman with seemingly inexhaustible energy. My memory is replete with images of her as a working woman, a wife, mother of three boys and a girl (moi – think french) , disciplinarian, church women leader, missionary, humanitarian, farmer, businesswoman, CD distributor (She used to distribute my CD’s to retailers) problem solver and more rolled up into a single, averagely sized, petite, dark complexion, bright-eyed, shy-smile woman.
Woman was not created last because she was the least, but because she was ‘cream’ of creation. She came fully fitted with the ability to conceive life, protect, preserve and nurture it at its most delicate form for nine month. Thereafter she continues to love, nurture, discipline, grow, counsel, bless, protect, pinch, forgive, rebuke, risk, sacrifice, embarrass, feed, slap, clean, provide, educate, whip, caution, celebrate, support, pat, defend, struggle, lead and generally offer unconditional love to the child for rest of either of their lives.
Moses mother, befittingly named Jochebed (meaning God’s glory, glorious or honourable) is a model of motherhood at its finest as recorded Exodus 2:1-10. She takes on grave risk by defying Pharaoh’s law that enforced genocide on all Jewish baby boys. She protects, nurture, provides for and does all that is in her power to ensure the survival of her offspring under very difficult circumstances. When she reached her wits end, she decided to take the ultimate risk to ensure the survival of her son by putting her in a basket and letting him float among the reeds of the Nile. I’m not sure whether she wanted to give the baby up or simply hide him more discreetly all I know is she had the survival of the baby in mind and heart. If her child’s survival was at stake in her care, she would rather give him up. Such risk. Such faith!
Long story short, the Princess of Egypt comes across the basket, opens it, sees the crying child, her heart goes out to him and she decided to adopt him. The beauty of the story is how God choreographed the drama with Jochebed eventually ending up nursing her son without the previous danger to both their lives and, get this, getting paid for it! I’m sure she would have done it for free if the Princess had asked…politely. My interpretation is God was honouring the spirit of a mother. He had to get in on the act and express His pleasure and Jochebed, a true mother. Quoting Marguerite Gardiner ‘A mother’s love! O holy, boundless thing! Fountain whose waters never cease to spring!’
I am cautiously weary of adopting all things American lock-stock-and-barrel but Mother’s day is a bit of an exemption. If we ignore the obvious commercialization and focus on honoring and appreciating the Jochebeds (God’s glory or glorious ones) of our lives we will do just fine. In fact, it will please God and invite His goodness upon ourselves.
Are mothers perfect? Absolutely No. Mine is not and God permitting, I am already reconciled to the fact that I will not be a perfect mother to my children. Mothers make mistakes and I’m sure Moses would have a thing or two to say in the negative about his mother Jochebed. We don’t honour our mothers because they are perfect but because, in spite their human foibles they continue to sacrificially love and give of themselves to make our lives better.
This week and going forward, let your mother (biological, adopted, step-mom, spiritual or guardian) know that you appreciate them. Call, text, visit, buy a gift, take them out – do whatever is within your means to bless your Jochebed.