learning gratitude

"Why do you love your mother?"

It was a simple question that came up last week at Bible study somewhere after, "Why do we suffer?" and before, "Will we recognize each other in heaven?"

It's an old question that tries to probe the origins of love for others. We went around in circles but agreed our love for our mothers is a response. I would add that my love for my mother has grown as I've realized how it comes without condition... often before I call home to spill my guts she'll have already anticipated my outburst.

Skip to tonight. I was at worship at the Micah Project where I heard a different Mothers Day story. Four of the littlest boys recorded a song to show their love for their mothers, though they do not know where their mothers are. The song broke my heart because it talks about trying to remember her face and her voice, but reassuring her that (wherever she is) she is loved.

I am overwhelmed. Not just that I have a mom who loves me without condition, but that I can picture her face when she is joyful, scared, sad, or with a fit of giggles. I know what she will look like when I get off the plane on June 24 and I know how her hug will feel. In many ways, my mom is home to me. So, when I see these boys throwing love out into the heavy night sky, I feel even more blessed to know exactly how my mom will answer the phone the next time I call.

And in all of this, I am learning gratitude. If I am loving my mom well, I am loving the Lord who shared her with me. If I am loving the Lord well, then I am responding first and always in gratitude to His kindness... and this means being a "mom" to those who throw love out to the night sky without knowing if it will return. With these boys and students and anyone God sovereignly places in my path, I want to be available to show the unconditional love of my Father (which will forever be on beautiful display in my mom).

let LOVE fly like cRaZy