I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.
Genesis 17:16Believe it or not, it's not a holiday that was made up by the greeting card companies.
I was surprised too.
Mother's Day actual has a long history of celebration throughout many cultures of the world. And it came to this country via a petition of a petite woman with a huge palette of words in her artistic use.
Julia Ward Howe was the feisty native New Yorker who was an abolitionist in the years prior to the Civil War. She is best known for writing the poem The Battle Hymn of the Republic, that stirring anthem that has captured in rhyme the spiritual battle scenes of a righteous army. Much of the imagery is taken from Scripture and the melody from a church hymn became the soundtrack to the score. Julia Ward Howe became well known from this writing and went on to speak and write in other venues, promoting social justice and peace.
And along the way, she pursued the cause of Mother's Day.
It was for memory of a dear friend.
Anna Jarvis was a young mother living in the Appalachia region of the country in the era of the Civil War. She worked to promote improved sanitation throughout the area and during the Civil War worked for cleaner conditions for both the North and the South. After the war she also took it upon herself to try to create reconciliation for those who had battled against each other at the height of the war.
Anna Jarvis was doing what, at their best, mothers do their best. Creating order from chaos. Sweeping out the nest. Chasing away the spiderwebs. Making nice with the neighbors.
To make things a little cleaner and a little more conciliatory. Even in battle.
And Julie Ward Howe wanted a national day to honor that mother work.
We mothers today wade through the housework and bake cookies for the neighbors. But in the busy-ness of the duties in front of us, may we not forget the deeper things. May we continue to improve the sanitation of our own hearts and the hearts around us. May we promote the cause of a life cleansed by the Lord. And may we exhibit a life in which we promote peace to those around us.
Julia Ward Howe, battle poetess. Anna Jarvis, Appalachian activist.
The mothers of Mother's Day.
Reminding us again of the power and responsibility imbued by the Lord on women who would mother, not only children, but spiritual children as well.