Happy Mother's Day
By David Myers
Southwest Kansas Register
Journey with me now as I pull open the drapes of time and together we peer through the window of the ages at “Great…ate…ate…ate Moms …oms… oms …oms Through … oo …oo … oo History … tory…tory…tory!”
We …ee …ee …ee (sorry) start with Jochebed (pronounced “Doris”), mother of Moses, who, soon after Moses was born asked her husband, Amram, to get her an ice cream, but who instead gave to her the rather depressing news that the Pharaoh wanted to kill all newborn boys. “I’d rather have ice cream,” she responded (Ex 2:20).
To save her son, she set him adrift in the River Nile in a reed basket. This way, she reasoned, he could avoid being killed while at the same time getting a nice tan. As little Moses sailed down the Nile, his sister, Miriam, watched from the side. To avoid suspicion, she was disguised as a crab.
Up ahead she spied the tender-hearted daughter of the Pharaoh, who, upon seeing Moses, picked him up, cradled him in her arms and said, “Ahhhhhhhh! It’s a widdle baby! Are you a widdle baby? Yeah! You’re a widdle baby! You sure are! Ooh da woo da woo!” (Ex 2:31)
Miriam returned home, gratefully removing the large shell and her pincher-shaped shoes. Jochebed praised God for her infant son’s good fortune. To make a long story short, Moses and his mother reunited some years later, and Moses went on to gain fame in the freeing-people-from-slavery business.
As we move up the Old Testament, we come to Samson – leader, hero of Israel, unrivaled in his skill with the jawbone of an ass. Despite his attributes, the writers of “Judges” neglected to include the name of Samson’s mom in the story. This woman, to whom an angel of the Lord saw fit to appear, was known only as the “wife of Manoah.” Did the angel appear to Manoah? Nope. Yet he gets top billing. Go figure.
Anyhow, the angel of the Lord appears to Samson’s mother (we’ll call her Sophie), telling her that although she is barren, she will give birth to a boy. Sophie responds, “You’ve got to be kidding.” (Judges 13:2) The angel stresses that he isn’t (Judges 13:3). He then tells her to avoid alcohol, fatty foods, and anything with a cartoon on the label.
“Oh, and don’t cut his hair,” the angel adds.
“Now you’re kidding, right?” Sophie asks.
“Do I look like I’m kidding?” the angel responds as he ascends to heaven on a pillar of fire.
Samson grew tall and strong, eventually defeating an entire legion of Philistines by boinking them on the head with the afore-mentioned jawbone. Eventually, though, his hair grew so long that he resembled Cousin Itt, and decided he needed a trim. Unfortunately, his barber was a Philistine woman named Delilah who gave him a flat top, stealing away his strength, and worse yet, making him look silly. Flat-tops were so last century.
Samson was blinded and imprisoned, but eventually grew his hair back. He thus regained his strength just in time to repay the Philistines by bench pressing two load-bearing pillars and destroying their temple. Said Sophie when given the news, “That’s ma’ boy.”
Then there was Sarah, wife of Abraham, mother of Isaac, who said unto her husband one particularly trying morning, “Are you nuts? A voice from above tells you to kill our son, and you don’t think to question it? Did you even ask for ID?” To which Abraham, his head lowered, responded meekly, “I’d better get to the gardening.”
“Ooooooh,” Sarah said, sounding ominous, “Dooo the diiiishessss! I comaaaaand you!”
And it’s here where we step out of the Old Testament and into the mid-1900s where a woman gave birth to a strange boy who couldn’t part his hair, much less the Red Sea; whose greatest challenge was not in fighting armies but in getting the rabbit ears just right on “Outer Limits” night; and who also had the jawbone of an ass, but which was unfortunately attached to his face.
And while there were times when she said unto God, “If you’re thinking of tempting me like you did Abraham, you won’t be disappointed,” such times were rare. More often than not, she stood by her timid child, telling him as he headed to school each morning to hold his head up high, that he was just as good as anybody else.
And while her words would be challenged again and again by low grades and highly motivated bullies, her voice would be there still, urging him to never give up, never lose heart. For there is One Love, she taught me, even greater than that of a mother for her child, a love through which we find our greatest value, that as sons and daughters of an all-loving God.