A couple of years ago, in the midst of some difficult times with one of our children, I called my mom.
"Mom," I blurted out, "I just want to say that if I've ever caused you one moment of lost sleep, I hereby apologize officially."
Mom's laugh comforted me in a way that words couldn't. She understood without my saying so that I was praying pretty much night and day for our daughter.
"Oh honey, I don't know what you're talking about. I can't remember your causing me one iota of trouble."
I knew she meant this, but I also knew that collectively my three brothers and I had given our mom plenty to pray about. And yet, just to know that she was still loving us and praying daily for her children and her grandchildren meant the world to me at that moment.
It made me think about something Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote: "A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 60).
Gratefully I can say that that very act of tender, steadfast, consistent prayer for her children was the greatest gift mom could have given me. It taught me about God's love, the mother-love of God. It gave me a hint of how dear each one of us is to God and how steadfast God's love for Her children is.
The Bible refers to the mothering aspect of God's nature in this way: "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him" (Deut. 32:11, 12).
What an image being born on the wings of our Mother-Love, tucked up in the All-in-allness of Her perfect care, which precludes the possibility of another power or force to cause us harm. What assurance to know that Her love is not conditional to circumstances but is the universal, unchanging, and unerring principle of divine omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience.
I'm coming to realize more clearly that it's this spiritual fact of God's mother-love that enables me to consistently express love to my children. There certainly have been moments when our children have pushed me to the limits of my personal capacity to love them, when their behavior has overwhelmed me with fear, anger, or impatience. Yet at these times, I've been able to turn to divine Love and realize that God loves them unfailingly as His children. He has loved them for all eternity as His precious spiritual ideas, the very image of His glorious nature.
There have been times when I've been able to see them clearly as the reflections of God, and so Godlike and good, instead of as immature mortal personalities. Then I have felt that flood of mother-love returning the patience and strength to support them through whatever situations they face, knowing that the real Mother is caring for us all.
When my own mom passed on a couple of summers ago, this same assurance that God was the source of my mom's love for me was what instantly comforted me and healed me of grief.
The last time I spoke with her on the phone, she said something to me that I couldn't quite make out. My mom was living at my sister-in-law's home, and my sister-in-law took the phone from Mom and asked me if I'd understood what she'd said. I admitted that I hadn't. She said, "She wants you to know that she got your reference sent off today." That's a mother's love for you. The day before she passed on, she was making sure she took care of some paperwork that I'd needed her help with. I could feel that continuity of God's love supporting us both through this transition.
I knew both of us were safe in the uninterrupted, tender care of God, because Mother's love lives on.