She Carries: A Tribute to Mothers

Rev. Starlette McNeill*

This tribute was prepared for the mothers of Village Baptist Church and presented on Sunday, May 11, 2014.
Purse 5

She carries combs and mirrors, bobby pins and safety pins, peppermints, lotion and hand sanitizer. She carries sewing kits and postage stamps, school and sports calendars. She carries teething rings, Tylenol and toddler toys. She carries stories and wisdom, Kleenexes and our secrets. She carries extra—bearing the weight of us all while anticipating what will be asked of her. She plans to carry all these things and more.

Her purse is a medicine bag and brief case, the office of the seamstress, the chief financial officer, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. She carries it all—not for her own benefit but to ensure the well-being of others. So, why do we question why her bag is so big or so heavy or why she needs so many?

She carries us in her womb. Her body is the definition of hospitality, making space not on a couch or in a guest room but inside her self. Her internal organs become pillows, the gym and an entertainment system.

She carries us in her wallet. Married with children of our own, she still carries our baby picture. She needs them with her like she needs debit and credit cards, ID and car keys. Our face and smile are carried with her lipstick because she is at her best when we are with her.

She carries groceries, baby on her hip and dinner plates to the table with a smile. She carries recipes and home remedies. She carries children with skinned knees, the ointment of healing in her lips, sweet words and kisses that make the pain go away.

Our mothers are carriers, taking whatever we give them and giving to us whatever we need. She is mother; hear her roar if you touch her child. She is our defense and defender, our watchman and bodyguard.

She is our first theologian, pastor, choir director and Sunday school teacher. She shows us the unconditional love and provision of God—sick and still caring, tired and still cooking, breaking up fights, fielding difficult questions, checking homework, reading bedtime stories and tucking us into bed.

She is our cheerleader and coach, our teacher and tutor, our guide and partner. She is our mirror and reflection, who we are and will be.

She is our prayer partner, burden bearer and our greatest fan who believes the best about us even when she has seen and heard the worst. She believes in us because we are her children, to give up on us would be to give up on herself. Helping our unbelief, our mothers carry our dreams long after we have pushed them aside or thrown them away.

Without job description but frequent personal review and evaluation, without pay, reciprocity, bathroom, lunch, or personal breaks, she does it all. Summed up in the word: mother, mom, mama, mommy and for this, we say, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Purse 2

Purse 4