What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.
For many years, as a single woman with no children, I disdained the title of ‘spiritual mom’ because I felt it was just a nicety that Christians slapped on women who had no children of their own, sort of like a consolation prize on Mother’s Day. I no longer believe that and so today, I created this graphic to celebrate all of us. I celebrate and honour mothers who have given birth, adopted, and fostered and I celebrate those women who pour out their lives to bless and raise up those who may never live under their roof but live forever in their hearts.
Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.
God has created both the mother’s milk and the child’s desire to drink it. But the milk does not flow of itself into the child’s mouth. No, the child must lie in its mother bosom and suck the milk diligently. God has created the spiritual food which we need. He has filled the soul of man with desire for this food, with an impulse to cry out for it and to drink it in. The spiritual milk, the nourishment of our souls, we receive through prayer. By means of fervent prayer we must receive it into our souls. As we do this we become stronger day by day, just like the infant at the breast.
We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honour, nor life, in comparison to their salvation…When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you…Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes.
Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at home; but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need: prayer is the beginning of that communion, and some need is the motive of that prayer…So begins a communion, a talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea, of existence itself in its infinite phases. We must ask that we may receive; but that we should receive what we ask in respect of our lower needs, is not God’s end in making us pray, for He could give us everything without that: to bring His child to His knee, God withholds that man may ask.
Strive to be as a little child who, while its mother holds its hand, goes on fearlessly, and is not disturbed because it stumbles and trips in its weakness. So long as God holds you up by the will and determination to serve Him with which He inspires you, go on boldly and do not be frightened at your little checks and falls, so long as you can throw yourself into His arms in trusting love. Go there with an open, joyful heart as often as possible; if not always joyful, at least go with a brave and faithful heart.
Thou sentest Thine hand from above, and drewest my soul out of that profound darkness – my mother, that faithful one, weeping to Thee for me, more than mothers weep the bodily deaths of their children. For she, by that faith and spirit which had form Thee, discerned the death wherein I lay, and Thou heardest her, O Lord; Thou heardest her, and despiseth not her tears, when streaming down, they watered the ground under her eyes* in every place she prayed; yea Thou heardest her…Thine ears were towards her heart. O Thou God omnipotent, who caredst for every one of us, as if Thou carest for him only; and so for all, as if they were but one!
Don’t measure God’s mind by your own. It would be a poor love that depended not on itself, but on the feelings of the person loved. A crying baby turns away from its mother’s breast, but she does not put it away till it stops crying. She holds it closer. For my part, in the worst mood I am ever in, when I don’t feel I love God at all, I just look up to His love. I say to Him, “Look at me. See what state I am in. Help me!” Ah! you would wonder how that makes peace. And the love comes of itself; sometimes so strong, it nearly breaks my heart.
To give heart and mind to God, so that they are ours no longer–to do good without being conscious of it, to pray ceaselessly and without effort as we breathe–to love without stopping to reflect upon our feelings–such is the perfect forgetfulness of self, which casts us upon God, as a babe rests upon its mother’s breast.