A Mother’s Strength

I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. -Psalm 131:2 

Dear members and friends,

A mother is the most special being to all children despite their connection or relationship with her. For nine months, we are connected to our mother physically and emotionally, taking what is necessary for our growth from her body. Even after birth, most of us were held and nurtured by our mother for one or two years. In fact, a mother and child exist almost as a single being during these first months. Weaning could be the first significant process we go through on our way to becoming independent beings. The word “wean” is defined as “an infant or other young mammal becoming accustomed to food other than its mother’s milk.” Thus, weaning is a critically necessary process because as babies grow, mother’s milk is no longer sufficient enough for their nutritional needs. However, to the baby, weaning might feel like a cruel separation from their mother. I observed how challenging this is with our daughter Joan, who refused to eat anything but her mother’s milk until she was nearly two years old. Her mother did everything she could to discourage Joan from seeking her milk, including applying lemon or soybean paste to her breast. However, her efforts were useless! 

One thing I observed clearly during the process of weaning our daughter was how powerful it is when a mother embraces her troubled child with love and care. In addition, it amazed me to watch how a woman, who is just another human being, could become stronger than herself in order to overcome her limits and shortcomings when it comes to her child’s health and safety. Consequently, I often imagined a world where all mothers are appropriately encouraged and fully supported while caring for their child(ren). That could be a wonderful community to live in! Swedenborg believed that if all children are fully loved when they are infants and toddlers, and well taught when they are in early education, God would have an easier time inspiring and guiding their minds to pursue and cultivate a heavenly form of living.

My family and friends in God, let us take time to think about and reflect upon our mothers, and her significant role for our existence, and raise up the love and care of all mothers despite their limits and shortcomings as humans.   

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee