Of course today is Mother’s Day in the US and I’ve been thinking about those women who loved me when I was nothing. My own mother, who loved me before she knew me. Her mother, who loved her when she was nothing, and loved me when I was nothing too. My Dad’s mom, who loved us when we were nothing, and my Great grandmothers who somehow found the capacity to love so many of us when we were still nothing.
Somehow in my mind this love into the future, this love of thousands of people who are still nothing is all tied up in Biblical warnings to not despise the day of small beginnings, and to look at the love that is only the size of a man’s fist and see a great flooding rain of love coming. Thinking of Abraham and the promises made to Him by our God – that we would outnumber the grains of sand, and the stars in the sky. Looking at my own children and wondering just how big of an impact can this love make? How many thousands of people are we loving now, as we spread peanut butter for the generations to come, or get another cup of water for the little person who will be the old person some day? At our dining room tables, feeding generations with the same love. Sacrificing little things for people who will outnumber us so quickly.
Last summer we stopped in to visit my Grandma Greensides – the three of us kids, and our sixteen children. And she loved them. They lined up and filed through to see her and give her a hug. They introduced themselves to her repeatedly, and kept getting back in line for more hugs, because even though she didn’t remember them, they wanted to hear one more of her funny comments, her sweet jokes. They wanted to feel the incredible softness of her relaxed skin, and make her laugh and smile again. And she didn’t know them, but she loved them. She loved them when they were nothing.
My younger children don’t know their Great Grandma Bessie, but they know her love. They feel her love in the way their Papa loves them, the way their Nana reflects the things she learned from her. They know her love, and they love her back. She loved them when they were nothing.
As we pour all this love forward, into people who are still nothing, we thank God for His great love to us. His love that enables us to love each other – that provides us with a depth of love that makes no sense, that never fails. He loved us when we were nothing.