Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Greatest Activists

Still grieving for Haiti . . .

I went to Haiti as a single woman, understanding in some cerebral way my Christian call to service; to love my neighbor as myself.  With the conviction and desire of many college grads, I understood that there was injustice and poverty and suffering in the world, and that I had a responsibility to become aware, to try to do something, however small, about it.

Then I became a mother. 

Before I became a mother, I believed in the rights of every person. 
Now, I believe in their beauty and dignity and immortality. 

Before I became a mother, I understood with my mind that every person has value. 
Now, I understand it with my heart and soul and open arms. 

Before I became a mother, I understood that the world was full of need. 
Now, I imagine that need on the faces of my own children, and am compelled, driven, to do something about it. 

Before I became a mother, I hoped to do something good before I settled down and had children. Now, I believe the greatest activists ought to be mothers.

The great revelation of motherhood was the unspeakable value of every human being. For the first time, I felt the immeasurable love of a mother for her child; something that my heart had not yet come close to comprehending. And as I adapted to this new role and these new emotions; the mother-bear roar of protectiveness, the weeping fear for my child and for the world she would grow up in; as I got used to my heart beating, now, forever outside of my body, I understood in an overwhelming way that not only my daughter, but every mother's son or daughter is this precious, bears this immortal value.

Charlotte Gray said, "Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate".

Mothers, unlike any other person, hear our children cry with our entire body rather than just our ears. Our response is more primal than practical, we nurture and protect them with an animal-like instinct that trumps every other call. And God help the person who dares to hurt, or threaten our child. There is a maternal vein of rage and courage that will propel us to protect our children at any cost. 

And so, shouldn't it be the mothers of the world, who hearing the children cry will reach out, body and soul, to fight for every child, to comfort other mothers, to care for the motherless? 

Perhaps it was mothers who God intended, expected, would become the healers, the proclaimers, the activists among us.

Imagine, if we were to unite our mothers' heart and mothers' passion, our mothers' conviction and mothers' raw courage, what mothers could do to change the world?

1 comment:

charrette said...

Beautiful! I love this.