“…oh no, my Lord! Give her the child-please do not kill him…” 1 Kings 3:16-27
Parents just have an otherworldly cognizance when it comes to their children. Consider heroic internet videos of fathers magically saving their children right before they fall; consider the way a mother can discern from the sound of a cry exactly what her baby needs. When you have given birth to something, the truth is, you know it. And it’s a knowing that arrests you.
King Solomon knew this. Having been the son of David, he watched carefully over his father’s reign and learned the ins and outs of ruling and understanding people. It was no huge surprise to him when two mothers came to him with a dilemma of parenthood. They were both mothers, with a common bond. Both women had felt the pangs of bringing life into this world. Both knew the cry of their own child and the shared experience of feeding something that is growing.
Their shared experiences detour commonality from that place on. One mother did not tend to her child. One mother was not careful with her child. One mother allowed her exhaustion to override her responsibilities. And that mother woke one day to find her child dead. The only thing more painful than giving life is waking up to find that it was taken away. It just seemed so unfair; it was such an unfortunate lot for her that her immediate response to it was to steal the child of another woman. Replacing her child was more important than grieving what she lost. But there was just one pesky problem…
The other mother was an incredible Mommy. She fed her child intentionally with love and nourishment. She nestled the baby safely in his bassinet so that no matter how much she worked or how tired she was, the baby knew her, and she knew him. She rested safely, knowing that she had done her job. It was no wonder that when she arose that morning, she had the fury of God in her to see someone stole her child. HER baby! It was HER milk that fed him! It was HER tireless efforts that kept the baby alive. So there would be no stealing. I can imagine the two women on World Star ready to go to fisticuffs about such treachery and deceit. Finally, the matter had gotten so out of hand that it was presented to the king. They were now in child custody court.
Both women gave very compelling arguments about the events leading them there. Both had the heart and soul of a mother, and so it wasn’t hard to believe either. Both longed to have this beautiful baby. But Solomon was not after custody. He was seeking connection. Why was this baby so important, and why did they want him so badly? Solomon’s wisdom did not fail him. The only way to find out what someone loves is to see how far they are willing to go for it. So, Solomon beckoned the court guard for a sword. He would cut the baby in half! He said, “this is an easy fix; let’s kill him and divide him.” But this was no easy fix. This was not ownership or entitlement for the actual mother. This was life that she had brought into the world. She was willing to risk ownership if it meant pulse. She was willing to give up her right to love for the sake of love. And so she begged the king, “Please! Wait! Don’t kill my baby! She can have him! I would rather ache for my living child than to die knowing he is not whole.” The king had gotten his answer on custody at that moment.
Mother’s Day is a very heavy holiday for a number of reasons. There are so many mothers-natural and spiritual-who have different stories. And it would almost seem odd if I told you Happy Mother’s Day if you were a man or a woman who has not had a child. However, we all know about the birth of a dream, plan, or vision. The long hours, countless hurts, and constant agonizing over the life of your “baby” is not something you would be willing to just watch die. So you do all that you can to nestle it safely. I charge you, love your “child” enough to see it live!
Perhaps you are a descendant of the “bad” mother. Whether naturally or spiritually, there was a break in the levee of life, and they dropped you. Forgive what they did not understand. Forgive what they could not do. Forgive what they forgot.
And should you be the child of a wonderful mommy, know that she is fighting for you! This Mommy does not have to be a blood relative. All of us have an advocate parent. You will not die! You will not be wasted! Your life has purpose, power, and capacity, and she will stop at nothing-not even her own satisfaction or ego-to ensure you thrive. I know of such a woman. And I live today because she fought for me. Happy Mother’s Day to every woman! Whether you are the broken woman or the queen who fights for her child’s life, we honor you. We thank you. Continue to exclaim over that life, “Oh no-not MY baby!”