Think of what you were when called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before him.
I Corinthians 1:26-29
* photo from www.allposters.com
Unconditional love – a mother’s privilege
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
Talk about an ideal! Unconditional love tops the chart of virtues to aspire toward. It’s not easy to love another without concern for self, desire for benefit, or even expectation of thanks. Aspiring to such an ideal is great; achieving it on occasion is even more impressive. Yet mothers are expected to love their children unconditionally all the time!
How realistic is that? It’s easy enough with newborns and sleeping babies. It’s imaginable with feisty toddlers, though it takes more patience. Eye-rolling, smart-mouthed teens raise the bar considerably. But what about mothers facing grown children whose lives are anything but productive? Is unconditional love still a reasonable expectation – or an appropriate one?
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, would likely answer “yes.” In her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she described the enduring nature of maternal love, regardless of circumstances. She 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” (p. 60).
Of course, moms aren’t the only ones capable of expressing mother-love, and caring for children isn’t the only occasion for doing so. Jesus expressed this kind of love throughout his career but most poignantly, perhaps, in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before he was crucified. His disciples – acting a lot like children – failed repeatedly to obey his command “Watch with me” (Matt. 26:38). Jesus probed their failure and urged them to improve, but he never stopped loving them. Mrs. Eddy’s description of this scene – “love meeting no response, but still remaining love” – aptly conveys the Master’s mother-love (Science and Health, p. 586).
Each of us is capable of pure, constant affection. Regardless of gender or age, and whether or not we have children, we have the capacity to express mother-love because God created us that way. The Bible tells us, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). In other words, God created each of us to image forth, or express, both the masculine and feminine qualities of our Father-Mother God.
Spend a few moments each day affirming the fact that God, divine Love, supplies you with the purity and constancy of mother-love – and the ability to express it. See where that prayer leads. Discover what tender affection and action it impels. The possibilities are as unlimited as Love itself.
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