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  • Writer's pictureThe Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

Mother's Day | May 8, 2022 by Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake

Strength of Land and Water

We belong to the ground

It is our power

And we must stay close to it

Or maybe we will get lost.

- Narritjin Maymuru Yirrkala, an Australian Aborigine

Nohili E - Muriel Amalu

A misty, foggy feeling comes to me

For the love of the mokihana

(This feeling) is unfamiliar to me

This love that is happening



The barking Sands

A merry tune

For the heart

How festive is Polihale

With the lushness of pahapaha (seaweed)

Where the sea spray seems to leap

Like two mists that creep upon the cliffs

Always beautiful

Water that makes my skin tingle

This famous water

That comes from the lush mountains

The song is about relationship, human relationships with trees, cliffs, sea spray, mountains, water, mist, sands, heart, and feeling. It reminds me of what it means to be a mother. Mother is a reality that does not stand in and of itself. It is not independent. Mother exists only in relationship. Mother needs offspring to be real – children in various manifestations. And it is not something forced upon another.

The video shows women enjoying themselves flowing with the tender and uplifting presence of Life. There is a Eucharistic dimension to it where the women continue to be nourished by that which is beyond them while being embodied in them as a sacred and intimate unfolding. There is delight in the communion. The women have chosen to be in relationship with the mother of all who in the words of Hildegard of Bingen contains the seeds of all.

Why is this so important to me today? It is a bulwark against the despondency that could result from the news regarding the Supreme Court’s intention to end a woman’s choice whether to give birth, even if raped, even if the relationship has been one of violence, of desecration of her sanctity before God. The Supreme Court’s machinations criminalize what should be a moral decision. It also makes motherhood the goal that women must attain at any cost, regardless of their own understanding of their bodies, relationship to the life force and freedom to choose. It addresses not the morality or immorality of the society in which the child will exist. The machinations and implications are frightening indeed and hopefully will energize rather than deplete our resolve.

Every year, I post for Mother’s Day Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation. It is a clarion call for women to have agency over their lives and the personal and social issues that affect them. I acknowledge that I used the proclamation in a very recent message. Its meaning spans neat categorization. An advocate of women’s suffrage as well as the abolition of slavery and war, she wrote the following proclamation in 1870.

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. “Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God. In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe was calling on women including those who were mothers to employ their power to do what men had failed to do. It was a call to take the reins and create a better way to solve conflicts and be together. She called for a way of moving forward not backward. We are all being called to arise now, at this moment, to address this impending tragedy affecting the day to day, minute by minute, second by second lives of millions of women. It is blasphemous that the Supreme Court and other branches of government do not with equal zeal support children who are already alive with dignity and a hopeful future.

Some of us remembered this past week that May 4, 1970, four Kent State University children of mothers were killed protesting the Vietnam War. Nine children of mothers were injured. All were victims the Ohio National Guard opening fire on a crowd protesting the killing of thousands of children of mothers in Vietnam.

If a decision handed down by one person determined the fate of millions, that person would be called a dictator. Yet, such control by six lifetime political appointees is called democracy. Something is wrong with this picture. We must be open and willing to paint other portraits issuing from our distinctive artistry.

I Am Willing

I am open and I am willing To be hopeless would seem so strange It dishonors those who go before us So lift me up to the light of change There is hurting in my family There is sorrow in my town There is panic in the nation There is wailing the whole world round May the children see more clearly May the elders be more wise May the winds of change caress us Even though it burns our eyes Give me a mighty oak to hold my confusion Give me a desert to hold my fears Give me a sunset to hold my wonder Give me an ocean to hold my tears.

- Holly Near

There is much we must accomplish, and the Giver of Life continues to give us the wisdom and strength for the work ahead.

Rev. Dr. Karen Melander Magoon puts the work of Mother’s Day in an important perspective. It is not merely about flowers, brunch, a nice card, or money. She clearly has no employment opportunities with Hallmark Cards. We need on this day and every day to speak to all the suffering children of mothers. Our familial ties bind us to their suffering and possibilities of healing. Let us pray with voice and action.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

There will be tens of thousands of immigrant women being held in hundreds of detention centers across this country.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

there will be hundreds of immigrant mothers who have been forcibly separated from their children.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

There will be more than 10,000 CHILDREN held in ICE prisons

On Mother’s Day, 2019

There will be hundreds of pregnant women held in ICE prisons (1,655 pregnant women were put into ICE custody in 10-months between 2017-2018)

On Mother’s Day, 2019

Medical help for these detained immigrant women is often very limited. This has contributed to miscarriages and stillbirths.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

Think of your mothers, grandmothers or great grandmothers – maybe among them women who found the courage to leave their homelands of violence and poverty to come to a new place with hope for something better.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

There will be thousands of mothers in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and elsewhere on a perilous journey to a new land to protect their children from harm.

On Mother’s Day, 2019

Join us as we declare that seeking refuge is not a crime!

Migration is a human right!

Persecution and detention of immigrants must end!

Reach out, speak out and act –

On this Mother’s Day

And for all the mothers of humankind!

- Karen Melander Magoon

On this Mother's Day, 2022, let us look upon life with wonder and an understanding that there is a reality far more powerful than what appears to be reality, what appears to be the new law of the land. This sense of wonder reminds us that we are expressions of the divine, that the God in us reaches out to the God in one another. And if millions of our sisters’ sense of agency is being violated, we have the opportunity and moral responsibility to be in the vanguard of reversing such violation. Do our eyes not see, our ears not hear what is beneath the possible reversal of Roe vs Wade? It is not pretty; yet there is beauty, glorious beauty, when we become a community of faith and support for those violated, whose lives are stayed on freedom, making our vow to that All-Pervading Present unto whom our lives flow. May we not lose our lives through our silence and complacency but become choruses of conscience and compassion. We are all children of mothers. And the choice to be a mother should be the choice of the potential mothers, not politicians.

The women dancing with the interplay of earth and water renew my spirit, and restoreth my soul. I experience anew my humanity and divinity, my connectedness to something that does not perish. Personal agony finds healing in the sands of time and the eternal waters of life. They were there before Supreme Court justices. They will be there after Supreme Courts justices, inviting us to wholeness, to dance in the flow of life, dance with that which is everlasting.

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