Weekly-Reflection - 5/16/2023
St. Mary's Reflection: Elizabeth Falcon, Vestry Member
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us." Ephesians 5:1-2
Today, as I'm writing this, it is Mother's Day. All day, I've been reflecting on how beautifully faith and motherhood are often intertwined. I use the word "motherhood" to mean any mother-like figure, recognizing that it comes in many forms in a community. I know this holiday brings grief, too, for many of us who are yearning to become a mother or dealing with the strain or loss of a parent or child, and I hold all who are struggling closely in my heart.
I've also been reflecting on what it means to "walk in love" and "be imitators of God." I suspect many of us may have first learned to "walk in love" actually by imitating our mothers or mother-figures. What a blessing to have a mother or other treasured person in one’s life to help make sense of the mystery of the love of God. This Mother's Day in particular, I’m reminded that I’m still inspired by my dear Mother’s example.
Recently, my family and I learned from my Mom's doctor what we had feared. Our beloved Mom had cancer. At that moment, the conversation seemed to be clouded in a dense fog for our family. My Mom, on the other hand, managed to poke a hole through the fog and fill the space with compassion. She talked about the importance of maintaining a faithful outlook, she periodically paused the medical discussion to check in on how her family was doing, and by the end she even provided reassuring words to the doctor by saying, "informing patients must be a really hard part of your job but please feel comforted knowing that you delivered the information so well." I watched in admiration as my Mom walked (and talked) in love.
During this time, my Mom has had multiple surgeries. Each time, I've again watched her walk the walk of love (or, more accurately, roll the roll of love being wheeled off to surgery). On one occasion, for example, as she was getting ready to be wheeled off to the operating room, there was the usual hurried intensity from the doctors and nurses, and tears in my eyes she knew I was trying to hide. Spotting an opportunity and without skipping a beat, my Mom made her medical team and me laugh so hard at a joke she made about lyrics to a Paul Simon song. I'm not sure if a word exists that encompasses that feeling of grief-filled grogginess mixed with comedic relief. But there ought to be, because that kind of belly laugh hits differently and oh what a generous gift in that moment! I watched in gratitude as she rolled away in love.
Last week, family friends and neighbors stopped by to check on my Mom's recovery (which has been fabulous). Although walking normally can take a bit of time, my Mom said to one concerned visitor, "Look! I can twirl!" I watched in delight as she twirled in love.
I imagine there are many of us who attribute our faith to our Mother. For me, it was never because my Mom demanded we attend church or "preached" to us biblical teachings. Instead, it's because the mystery of faith and the concept of being fully loved by God tapped into what it felt like to experience my Mother’s love. To all the Moms and Mother-figures out there, thank you for bridging Heaven and Earth as you walk in love (and talk, roll, or twirl) with all the grace of God.
Elizabeth Falcon, Vestry Member