Gratitude for Mothers

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 66:13

Dear members and friends,

Mother’s Day has been difficult and complicated for me ever since I came to the U.S. Each year, I try to find some loving and inspiring memories with my own mother, but this attempt always ends in sadness and disappointment. Thus, the word “mother” holds complicated feelings for me. When I was a child, I lived with my grandparents in a very remote village and thought about my mother every single day for five years. Even though my grandmother shouted out almost daily, “you mother abandoned you,” secretly I believed and hoped that my mother would come and take me (or save me) from such a miserable life. And one day she did come, and asked, “Do you want to go with me?” I thought that my dream had finally come true. However, she took me to her aunt’s house in the city and told me, “I am married. My husband does not know that you exist, so you must stay here.” That night she slept next to me and cried and complained about the hardship in her life and how burdensome I was to her. That’s when I finally gave up my belief and hope in my mother or parents. So far, that was the saddest moment in my life. Later, I discovered that the main reason my mother took me to the city was to get a large sum of money from my grandfather, claiming she would spend it on my living and education, which never happened. 

A mother’s love, therefore, has been like a golden apple about which I heard many times, but have never seen. Many people claim that this is the greatest kind of love that could be found among humans. And, in Isaiah 66, even God compares his love toward humans in this way: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” The power that a mother has over her child(ren) is indeed undeniable. And although I never experienced such love from my own mother, I have no intention of denying the reality and existence of mothers’ love for their children. Instead, I would like to express my deep respect to all mothers who are overcoming their own shortcomings as humans to truly and wholeheartedly care for their children. And, if your mother happens to be one of those mothers, please do not take her existence and her love for you for granted. Express your gratitude and appreciation for the love and support that your mother has given to you. But if you are like me, whose mother was mostly absent without showing any or much love to you, please do not let sadness and disappointment swallow you. Instead, let us acknowledge the importance of such love, and show our respect to those who are capable of giving it. Perhaps, they could inspire our hearts. 

My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment this week to think about our mothers. No matter what kind of mother we were born from, we owe our existence to her. Let us appreciate the existence of loving mothers and their willing sacrifice for their children. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee