It's Memorial Day, but I never got around to finishing writing the things I wanted to write about Mother's Day. If I were a cool blogger I would have announced a series and published them on a schedule and invited other people to weigh in, but I am not a cool blogger.
One of those floating phrases that tends to draw fire when it passes is that motherhood is "the highest calling of a Christian woman" or something like that. And then comes the shots--What about those who can't have children? What about those whose children have (it happens) grown up? Why isn't fatherhood so important?
Those are all good questions, but they don't get down to the heart of the matter, which the "highest calling" people have expressed so poorly as to obscure it entirely. The highest calling of anyone, of everyone, is to love God and love people. Mostly to love God BY loving people.
So if you have small children depending on you, then yes, your highest calling is to love and care for them (ahead of others simply because of their dependence). But even if you don't, or never will, somewhere, somehow in your life there are people to show God's love.
Motherhood may be challenging, but caring for the sick and dying is just as challenging, and devoid of cute photo-ops. In many ways it is more profoundly human and divine than raising children. Even animals care for their young, but only humans honor the past.
But whether it's caretaking or missions or generous donations or just working a job that other people need and being nice to the janitor, all of us have the same calling and the same opportunity and the same commandment: Love one another.