Sunday, May 14, 2017

Single Mothers

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When our children were young I would head off to the church early every Sunday morning and later Ruth, my wife, would arrive with our three children in time for worship. From time to time she would remind me that on Sunday's she was a single parent, and getting out the door could be exasperating. She admitted that the 45 minutes after the kids departed the service after Children's Time was golden, not necessarily because of the sermon or anthem, but because for a brief time she got to be an adult in the company of adults.

Of course we went home as a family. We shared responsibilities and made decisions as a couple and parenting was still a challenge. Often when I'm taking the bus to work I see the single mother's wrestling strollers on board and I wonder about their lives. It is seldom-recognized responsibility which must be overwhelming at times.

On this Christian Family Sunday and Mother's Day I'll share with you a sonnet by British priest and teacher Malcolm Guite. It honours those single moms who don't often receive recognition and praise:

At last, in spite of all, a recognition,
For those who loved and laboured for so long,
Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition
To flourish in the place where we belong.
A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising,
Who buckled down and did the work of two,
Whom governments have mocked instead of praising,
Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through,
The single mothers forced onto the edge
Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected,
Invisible to wealth and privilege,
But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected.
Now into Christ our mother church we bring them,
Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.

Blessing on all parents today, and all households where love is modelled and Christ is present.

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