“Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.”
~ George Eliot
The Weekly Photo Challenge this week has a theme called “Love”.
I know—where do we begin, right? I’ve got other posts on love so I thought I’d focus on one particular type of love. Can you guess? These photos are just candid shots, some very poor images, but you cannot deny the very spirit of motherhood in them.
Sometimes love needs no explanation or definition. You just know it when you see it. Don’t you just see love in the photo above?
Now that my children are grown and in their twenties, trying to find their way, I do something I swore I would never do.
If I let my mind wander and dwell it can flourish into a constant panic attack in my chest. I just have to push the “Stop” button sometimes. A lot of these thoughts can wander into places imagined, things that may never take place; but what of the real problems they face? Is there anything I can really do?
All three of my children are healthy, loving, and growing in wisdom. They are making good decisions as they face the realities of life. I thank God each day for them and turn my anxious thoughts into prayers. I wholeheartedly enjoy them.
I reminisce at their childhood. When they stumbled and got hurt I could scoop them up with heavy doses of mother-love and lots of band aids and everything was just fine. In fact, everything was just fine as long as they were in my hands, tucked safely in my arms. My arms could snug them tight and my hands could stroke and soothe. But then I learned the simultaneous joy and pain of motherhood.
And that was letting go …
First to preschool, then kindergarten, on and on.
My arms and hands were emptied of them and the thoughts would begin—are they okay? Will they get hurt? What if someone is mean to them?
As they grew out of physical harm the wounds of the heart kept my intuition on its toes. Once again, my touch could soothe. And each hurt pinched my own heart a bit. Still does. When you carry them inside you for those nine long months there is that strong bond of just “knowing”.
And I try not to worry. I try to pray. But I catch my hands, my arms. Empty. Where are they right this minute? Are they happy? Are they suffering? Is there anything I can do right this minute?
I thought about my grandmother, how she did this, standing there wringing her hands. My mom did, too.
Now I am doing it.
Why, oh why, oh why? This has just got to stop! And one day it did. While rocking my sweet grandson I figured it all out …
The only time we feel our children are safe is when they are in our arms. When they are not we wring our hands. Our arms and hands must be wrapped around them, else worry never leaves us.
I remember the moment of their birth cradled first in my open hands, me all giddy, forgetting the horrific trauma of the prior moments! You’d think those moments would linger but no—our hands are full of a wonder so great the birth pangs slip easily from our memories as our hands and arms wrap around that gracious gift. And so it goes from the time they are born …
if they are not in our arms, we wring out hands. Our hands must, they must do something! Our arms, our hands hold the key to their safety, their wholeness, their existence, don’t they!
What are we to do with our empty hands? What should fill our hands when our children do not?
Why not assume a different position … and a difference perspective? Unclench and pry apart, then turn those wringing hands into peaceful palms together, then point them heavenward … in prayer.
Could it be for this very reason that hands folded together are prayer’s only adornment? I wonder that perhaps God knew mothers would need something useful to do with our hands when our little ones are grown and out in the great big world.
For in this simple gesture is the truest place where heaven does move earth, as a mother’s prayer is borne like no other. For those folded hands replace the empty hands and fill the heavens with songs whispering the best and highest we can do for our children—place them in the hands of the One who never sleeps and has His eye on them at all times.
Other interpretations of the Weekly Photo Challenge that I like:
- Weekly Photo Challenge-Love: Mother’s Love is the Best in the World! (myvividvisions.wordpress.com)