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Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. - Acts 9:36  

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and I have a pastor friend that often on Mother’s Day asks all the mothers to stand in her congregation. Then she asks all those who have a mother to stand. There’s usually a moment of disconnect when people look around and then realize what she asked, that everyone in the church has a mother and, finally, they all stand, usually laughing.  

Then she asks everyone who has ever mothered someone to raise a hand. There is usually some confusion and then she asks everyone to be seated and she goes into her yearly Mother’s Day sermon about how the word “mother” is both a noun, with which we are all familiar and a verb, which we have to pause and think about for a moment. 

 I don’t know if Tabitha in our reading this Sunday was a mother, but I do know that her actions had motherly traits of care for her community.  

 Anyone one of us can show the traits of mothering a person, but so often in our society mothering comes off as being a negative connotation. I think it’s time to change the narrative and embrace and lift up the motherly traits in all of us.   

Here’s what mothering looks like:  

  • We mother someone when we care about their wellbeing no matter how old they are. 
  • We mother someone when we worry about them and the decisions they are going to make and how the wrong decisions will cause them pain and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. 
  • We mother someone when we feed them whether they are hungry or not. We mother someone every time we ask them, “Can I help?” 
  • We mother a person when we comfort them with a hug or even just a pat on the back.
  • We mother a person when we work hard for their benefit, knowing that they’ll probably forget to thank us but doing it anyway. 

What would you add to the list? There are so many mothers in our midst and those who share their motherly care with us. May we expand our understanding of mother as we celebrate the many and varied mothers in our life this week Amen.