This Sunday is Mother’s Day. If anyone’s forgotten … you’re welcome! Still plenty of time! It’s a day to express thanks for love we’ve received, which in many ways has made us who we are. I hope we all have mothers to thank, or at least mother-figures—people who have mothered us, loved us, guided us, tended to us over all the years.
I also remember people for whom motherly relations may not have been so fond and empowering. This week at Rotary a presenter spoke about human trafficking. There’s so much disturbing about the reality, yes, present here in our community. I was struck by one particular term I hadn’t heard before. Relational poverty. That’s been swirling in my mind and heart ever since. Not a complicated idea, really. But it brings clarity for me. Relational poverty—a condition of people who suffer an absence of love, attention, guidance, affirmation. Literal, physiological (in brain development) and relational consequences plague youth growing up in such poverty, and is one of the prime determiners of whether youth end up in the sex trade.
Wow. So simple. So powerful. Such a need for all of us of any age. So true across human generations. Maybe we take it for granted. But the truth is, none of us make it where we are in life on our own. Even our talents, our determination, our capacity to choose well, we know it’s all a return on the investment of so many others—mothers, teachers, friends, colleagues—who have touched us and nurtured us. As much as our bank accounts, investment portfolios, or dollars in our pockets, I wonder how we might measure and manage our relational riches.
One of our scripture texts for Ephesians this Sunday is a kind of prayer that all may know the riches of our inheritance among the saints. You see, we receive an inheritance of relational wealth. And God calls us to manage it, to invest it for (that is “in”) future generations. That’s what family life is all about. That’s what our life together in the (“Mother”) church is all about. More than just one or two weekends a year, we express thanks for all we have received by loving, tending, guiding, affirming others. That’s what all the money in our church budget or the glory of our building or our service at our best is really about—sharing relational riches with all. How have we inherited? How have we invested today?
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father (and Mother) of glory may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know God, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which God has called you, what are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of God’s power for us who believe, according to the working of God’s great power.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)
Grace and Peace,