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Mother's Day 2017

I remember the first time anyone ever wished me Happy Mother's Day. It was twelve years ago. At the end of a service where I preached, in a church behind the razor wire, 240 convicted felons stood up and in unison proclaimed "Happy Mother's Day" and my heart melted. The same thing happened at the end of the next service. Those big burly men, who were missing their own mothers, have no idea how much that meant to this woman who never bore a child and yet spiritually mothered many.

Three years later I became the Protestant chaplain at that same prison and those men became my sons. Around that time someone who hadn't seen me for years asked my brother how many children I had. His response was " she has boys, 2,700 of them. She's a very prolific breeder!"

After becoming the chaplain, every Mother's Day until I left, those men made me cards that dozens signed and that I proudly displayed in my office. Each one touched my heart and were symbols of God's incredible grace and love. In the middle of that dark, cold, hard place they needed a mother and I needed sons. I have never viewed Mother's Day in the same way since.

So to all the women who have never borne children but who have cared for another woman's either spiritually or physically. To all the mothers whose children cannot be with you because of distance, death, or incarceration. To all the women whose heart aches amid the day's festivities. May this day be filled with supernatural love and grace. And may this Mother's Day, and all the ones to come in your future, miraculously turn out to be happy. Amen.

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