“Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14), exclaims God when telling Sarah and Abraham that she will bear a son, a son for whom she had longed for many years. Motherhood is a wonderful blessing—carrying a child, giving birth, and childrearing are miraculous blessings bestowed on women. As a nation we celebrate mothers recognizing what they have meant to us as individuals and as a community.
I come from a long line of strong mothers. I have been twice blessed by strong mothers. My mother shaped my theological beliefs and I have watched my wife courageously raise our daughter. Mothers continue to form us long after our time in the womb. They seek a better world for us and seek to bring about the best in us to realize that dream.
However, let me not romanticize motherhood. Some women face challenges as they try to conceive. Some women raise children that come into their life through other means. Some women play the role of mothers when care is lacking. Motherhood is an extremely difficult endeavor—one that never really ends. While we lift up the idea of motherhood in words, the world does not always do so in deed. Just as Sarah is blessed with a son in the Bible, so there are also women surrounding Jesus as he dies on the cross. They were the ones to sit in the pain, they were the ones to comfort in that pain—they were: Jesus’ mother, his aunt (Mary the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene (John 19:25–27). Mothers are courageous because they are vulnerable. Mothers, not wanting to lose their children, whether to death, or to poverty, or to violence, make extremely difficult decisions to keep their children safe.
For some the decision to protect their child means leaving their life behind, picking up their families, and making a home in a new country. We are a country that values mothers, including a day in her honor. However, does that value extend to all mothers in this nation? Our current immigration policies and enforcement do not reflect those values. Mothers having fled violence and conflict arrive in the United States only to find the program that would reunite them with their children is threatened and they may never be able to bring their child to safety. In the name of being tough at the border, pregnant mothers find themselves locked up in immigration detention where their well-being as well as the infant’s well-being is at risk because of poor medical care in the immigration detention system. Mothers in the U.S. cry and pray at night as they contemplate their next appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) knowing they may face unconscionable decisions about how to keep their family together. And still other mothers, trying to use the well-established family migration system, are being shamed as they strive to reunite and care for family members.
How do we value the motherhood of those newly arriving in this country? Kewanit Beyene fled conflict and desperate living conditions in Eritrea, in East Africa, and made it to the U.S. with her husband and two small children where they were resettled as refugees. But this mom was forced to make an excruciating decision; she had to leave her then eleven-year-old son, named Finan, behind with her mother.
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Source: Christian Post