Empty Seats at the Table on Mother’s Day

Empty Seats at the Table on Mother’s Day

There was an overwhelming sadness that descended on me. I couldn’t explain it.

We were at a pot-luck after church and the conversations were sweet. Mamas and Dads, brothers and sisters …all gathered together around the tables in the fellowship hall. Communion.

Why the sadness?

Sometimes your heart knows the date on the calendar better than you do…Mother’s Day was coming up.

This is an interesting holiday for me now. My Mama is gone from this earth and the children who made me a Mama are far away from our little cottage in Alabama. Mother’s Day can be a sad reminder of the empty places.

Friends will tell you to be thankful for what you have …find someone to love on nearby. It’s not the same.

And I wonder if we give ourselves space to just grieve and say, “It’s not okay.”

Well-meaning friends and family will spurt out, “They’re in a better place,” or, “At least they …,” and other sincerely, hope-filled comments but I have to ask — why are we so quick to give the typical, positive “Christian response” and leave the grieving soul more isolated in their pain?

“Weep with those who weep.” ( Romans 12:15 NLT )

And I think Paul was on to something very needed and important when he said, “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”

If your friend is happy — be happy with them. If they are sad — be sad with them. Don’t try to interject some “Christianese” comment. Sit in the grief with them. Acknowledge it as a real thing. Don’t try to compare it to something else. Just let it be what it is.

Yes, we’re told to “count it all joy” and “weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning,” but let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t need a sermon– we just just need a shoulder.

So here’s to all who are grieving the loss of their Mama this Mother’s Day and those who have been transplanted far away from those who call them “Mama.” I grieve with you. I will weep with you. I will sit with you in your sorrow and your pain. I will not give you a sermon on joy and happiness or how to overcome. I will just be with you and miss our mamas and children together.

We’re not alone. We’re better together.

May God give comfort in our grief and loneliness.

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. beckyjuettmiller

    Excellent points for those missing their moms. I am thankful to still have mine around at 94.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      What a gift to have your Mom still with you. Happy Mother’s Day Becky!!

  2. smithjungle

    “Only emptiness is prepared for fullness.”” (Richard R.)

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      I love that quote Debby! Thanks for sharing and Happy Mother’s Day dear friend!

  3. Ben

    Poignant and true. Too true. When it hurts, it hurts. Nobody is gonna solve it, but holding us while we press gauze on the wound, that’s friendship. Love you, mama

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Ben, You’ve done that for me many-a-times! Thanks for understanding. Love you~

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