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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blurts for the Mother

by Lauren Van Ham

Joy is the echo of God's life in us
- Abbot Columba

It is the season of celebrating Mothers! Earth Day and Mother’s Day happen within two weeks of each other and on these holy days, we’re invited to honor our Mother, both familial and Divine.

Years ago, while on pilgrimage in India, I watched from the banks of the Ganges River in the dimness of pre-dawn.  As the sun began to crest the horizon, men rowing their boats on the sacred water, began their morning cries, “Maha Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeva!”  Their bellowed wails stretched across the river and ricocheted on the ghats where I stood.  “Maha Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeva!” (Great Mother!  Almighty Mother!)  Every morning was the same, calling the Mother and greeting a new day.

I felt awe in that moment, and a pang of jealousy, too.  Where in my Christian roots was I taught to welcome the day by calling on the Divine Mother?  And then I remembered David, a Baptist pastor who I had the joy of meeting a few year’s before, during a hiking group’s attempt to summit a 14,000 ft peak in Colorado.  David was in his 70s at the time and periodically, as we would round another in a seemingly endless string of switchbacks, he would look across the mountain range and gasp, “How Great Thou Art! …I’d sing it, but I can hardly breathe.”

Sundays are my day to go for long bike rides.  I use the time to clear my head, to pray and to re-member myself to the truths I frequently “misplace” during a busy week of do-ing.  Frequently, upon cresting a Northern California hill and descending into a golden-green valley, I burst into song, “We have a beautiful Mother; look around you!  Sing Praises!  Open up your heart and sing your praises!” 

Whether India or the Rocky Mountains, the sunset at night or the flowers in the neighbor’s yard, there are moments when the Mother’s beauty is so captivating, so (thankfully) overwhelming, that our love for Her just tumbles right out of us.  Have you noticed?  When, most recently, did you blurt out love for your Mother?

Loving our Mother (and loving our Mothers), is a unifying, community-building practice.  Let’s share our love for the Mother (and for our Mothers) this season.  Our Mother gives us so much to be grateful for.   Why contain it?  Let it blurt!

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