Anglican Morning Devotion for 8 May 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“HE maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 113:9)
Tomorrow, we will celebrate Mother’s Day officially, but should we not celebrate the gift of mothers every day of the week and year?
There is an old Russian tale entitled, ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.’ I know not the author – perhaps Leo Tolstoi. The story is about a mother and her five year old daughter who visited Moscow from some distant village. The two were accidentally separated in the bustle of the crowd in the city. The little girl, lost and all alone, began to weep bitterly and to search wildly for her mother. The Russian people are particularly partial to children, and many joined in an effort to find the lost mother. Such a commotion was created that even a household official of the Tzar became involved. He asked the little girl to describe her mother. The little girl responded, “My mother is sweet and kind, and the most beautiful woman in all the world.”
An official search began for such a beautiful woman, but none was found to match the beauty of the girl’s mother in Moscow. Knowing that the little girl came to Moscow from the western route, a search was made in an outlying village for such a woman that the child would identify. Suddenly, the little girl excitedly pointed to a woman on the street and screamed, “Mama, O Mama!” The escorts asked, “Is this your mother?” The woman was a poorly dressed peasant, short and stocky, with a round face that emanated no beauty but an abundance of tenderness and joy at the sight of her little daughter. One of the officials asked, “But you said your mother was the most beautiful woman in the world!” “That is true,” said the little girl – “that is my mama and she is truly the most beautiful woman in the world!” All mothers, whether ladies, hens, doves, or donkeys are beautiful to the offspring with which the Lord has blessed them. “O Jerusalem,Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37) A mother will lay down her life for her little ones.
Many years ago in the foothills of the mountains of the Blue Ridge, a beautiful lady rocked her child to sleep night after night. The father had gone to serve in the European Theater of World War II. She was, indeed, beautiful by any measure. She had beautiful blue eyes and fair complexion. She was too young to be left with such a burden as a baby son and little daughter. She had the blush and character of the colleens of the Emerald Isle. As she rocked, she would softly sing an old Irish lullaby to her baby –
Over in Killarney, many years ago
Hush now, don’t you cry
That’s an Irish lullaby
I still think of that beautiful mother when sleep lingers too long in its coming. I love that tune, and I love the Irish heart from which the words emerged more than 75 years ago as she rocked me tenderly in her arms.