Monday, July 13, 2009

What Mothers Do

"And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them." Mark 1:31

My childhood friend sent me a picture of a ding dong school bell, like the one her mother used to use to call them in for supper and chores. We had a bell too, which my mother rang indoors and out to collect us. We were easily scattered and resistant to conformity of any kind, but the bell reminded us where we belonged and to whom we belonged. I find my mother at 86 worrying still about what she is going to make for dinner when we are there, and still trying to gather us all in. It is what mothers do. We can't help ourselves. There is a level of ingrained responsibility for the care and feeding of children, no matter what age, and no matter whose children they might be. I know if there were other children at our house at meal times, they were given a plate and a place. They might have just eaten, but my mother could not leave them out or set them aside.

As the second week of General Convention unfolds, I am reminded of all the beloved people I met in Anaheim who were tired and exhausted to the core. My heart ached for them and when I left yesterday morning early, I ached with the desire to do more, to feed others to ring everyone in and set a place for them. I know it is dangerous to try to care for other adults, but there is also the genuine care and compassion that is deeply rooted in mothers. Simon's mother, healed, got up from her deathbed to serve her son and his friends. One can only wonder whether she rang a bell to call everyone in, to gather up everyone and set a place for all.

Healing God,
you reach out and touch or fevered brows
turn our mourning into joy and revive us for service.

Bring you healing touch to our leaders.
Give our deputies, delegates and bishops
and all who represent us, your spirit
of gathering and feeding that they might all
rise up together to serve the world.

Keep the poison of selfishness from them
guard them from greed and isolation
and surround them with caretakers who will call them home,
renewing and restoring them to be your hands today.

We ask this all in the name of Christ who heart was constantly moved
whose hands reached out in love and healing and who is present now
where love abides. Amen.

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