I have motherhood moments that transport me back in time to my own mother’s care for me. Vividly I can recall my perception of her at specific moments in time, surrounding an event or stage of life. She was steady in her love and cultivated a sense of security for us all. Now, through the lens of an adult, I realize there were things she had been carrying during some of those times, things she held carefully so as to not burden a child beyond her years. There is so much I would ask her about today, if she were still here, but we never got to talk as wives or mothers. As I become more aware of what she sacrificed for me I could feel guilty, but that’s generally not what comes to my heart. Instead, when I think of all she gave, I overwhelmingly feel grateful. This, to me, indicates just how pure her devotion to loving us was, that it came with no strings attached.
The idea of feeling not guilty but grateful also comes into view for me as a Christian during Lent. When I contemplate the life of Jesus, how he chose to live and what that required of him, I am filled with profound appreciation. All that he did over 2000 years ago still blesses me today. I give thanks that he worked to transform the society he lived among… that the wisdom of his timeless teachings continue to unfold for the benefit of humankind. I don’t imagine he would want us to feel guilty about his mission, but rather compelled to carry on this work of Love on earth.
So it is for any dedicated mother, I imagine. My mom did not care for me so that I would feel guilty, or even so that I would feel grateful. She nurtured, protected, and cherished me with the intention that I may have all that I need to live and love well when it came my time to fly.
Love that is freely given is a true gift. It leaves us grateful, not guilty… and I find gratefulness to be a motivator far more genuine and powerful than guilt. It can make all the difference in one’s life and, with respect to Jesus, the world.
May you be inspired!