Mom: Shepard of Her Flock and Spiritual Seeker, Too
The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Mother’s Day is full of emotion. It is probably one of the most “sacred” days of the year. It is a day where children of all ages (young and grown) try to do their best to let their birth, adopted, or otherwise motherly figures know of their love and thankfulness in their lives. In the Psalm above, we read about the Shepherd (God) who looks after the sheep. The shepherd makes sure that the children find the basics of life such as sleep, food, protection from danger, and goodness and mercy. For me, that always meant enjoying mom’s homemade lasagna or special spinach and potato dish that I still think about regularly. Moms are dedicated to making sure children experience goodness. Sometimes that can mean buying them new clothes or a new iPhone, or lending their personal car to them for work or leisure. The image of mom as shepherd is one that I have not thought about very much, but since Psalm 23 is part of the reading for this Sunday, I found the connection to be easily usable and justifiable. Mothers are shepherds of their little flocks. It’s a high and holy calling and it begs the question, “What’s a mother to do?”
I can answer or at least try to answer the previous question. I would say that the shepherd herself needs shepherding. All moms can benefit from God’s guidance and God’s comforting care and protection. When that is received as a mother, then it makes it easy to pass on the same care to her children. So, moms of the world, let me say, “Happy Mother’s Day.” I hope this Psalm and this day is a good reminder that you are not alone and you have help with your seemingly unrelenting work of mothering. You have the Shepherd (God) who is helping, guiding, comforting and willing to lead you too. May this day be one where you know and enjoy the “still waters,” “green pastures”, and the enlivening of your souls. You deserve it!
Dear God: Bless all of the Mothers in the word and especially the ones in my life. Amen.
-- Chaplain George M. Rossi