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Monday, August 17, 2015: I was reading a South African newspaper today that stated that August was their Womenâ€™s Month. I had no problems with that. My biggest problem was that the heroines that began to be pointed out were only those in the public arena.
I read various names of women who have made their mark on our memories through their achievements in politics, in business, in the arts and sciences, and so on. Each one of them was a household name. We know them and they have already received many awards.
I thought for a moment, â€œWhat about the women who carried us in their wombs for nine months, gave us birth, and nursed us while we were in our napkinsâ€”at a time when we all could do absolutely nothing for ourselves?â€ That thought nagged me for a long time.
I remembered my mother, who made her own mark in the professional world. Yet, I still think that her greatest achievement was to raise up her children into adult citizens that can now contribute in the world of politics, business, arts and science, and so on.
As I looked at all the big names of heroines that were being splashed before my eyes in the South African newspaper, I imagined that behind each one of them was the love and care of a mother. That thought alone blew me awayâ€¦behind each one of them!
Then I went to the Bible. We would not have had Samuel, one of the greatest prophets in the Bible, if we did not have Hannah his mother. We would not have had Moses, if his mother did not hide him away in a basket when all Israelite babies were being slaughtered.
We would not have had John the Baptist, of whom Jesus said there was no prophet greater than him, if we did not have Elizabeth his mother. We would not have had Jesus, our great Saviour, if we did not have the Virgin Mary. Let us face it; we have all needed mothers.
So, why are mothers so little appreciated? We seem to focus on the finished product, forgetting that perhaps the greatest work was done in the first stages of putting that product together. That is a big mistake that the world makes. The first stages are crucial.
Look at the beautiful sky-scrappers. The engineers tell us that before those buildings went up, they had to dig deep into the ground to lay a very strong foundation. Only when that foundation was laid could the superstructure that we often admire begin to go up.
Farmers will also tell us that before they plant their wonderful large fields of crops, they first lay seeds in nursery beds where they carefully control all the conditions. Only when the plants are strong enough to fight the elements are they now planted in the fields.
Pilots will also tell you that whereas almost anyone can fly an aeroplane when it is in mid-air, the most difficult time is the take-off (and landing). Those initial moments are the most nerve-racking because everything must be right or else you will crash.
Finally, policemen will also tell you that most of the individuals who are criminals and filling up their time with work are people who never had a good family life when they were growing up. They are products of an absentee mother and an absentee father.
They have â€œMothersâ€™ Dayâ€ when they can celebrate motherhood. But they also have â€œWomenâ€™s Dayâ€ when we can celebrate womenâ€™s achievements. The fact that a month has been set aside to celebrate women suggests mothers should be fitted into the matrix too.
I think our friends need to include a statement on all the mothers who have done their work faithfully as they list their heroines. Keeping silent about them sends a wrong signal to young people who are looking for heroes. They fail to appreciate the role of their mothers.
They should say, â€œIn this month when we celebrate women, we also want to salute every mother who behind the scenes has faithfully sacrificed and endured so much to raise up all these heroes and heroines we are celebrating. Thank you for being our unsung heroines!â€
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Mothers: Our unsung heroines
Your Family Matters with PASTOR CHANDA