I didn’t like where the dividing line fell in this morning’s reading, because sometimes I am on one side of the line, speaking truth to power and other times I am on the other side of the line, parroting the worst of what our culture has taught me. I think these stories are meant to be told together, to remind us that all our dividing lines are false and dangerous, and that we cannot simply wrap them up in religious rationales and be satisfied with the ways things are. That real religion, pure religion, cares for all who are in distress and amends itself when we notice that it is we ourselves who have caused harm.
Mother’s Day, as most of us know, wasn’t founded by grateful children. It was established by women who were tired of death. By mothers on both sides of the Civil War mourning the loss of their sons. They weren’t asking for cards or candy, they were asking for a world in which their children would live to bear children of their own. For a future better than their past. These mothers weren’t looking for appreciation, they were fighting for their children’s lives.