Every Form of Mothering: A Prayer of Thanks for Asian Mothers

As we see images of Asian mothers and grandmothers brutally attacked in the street, including 2 Asian women who stabbed in San Francisco this past week, we give thanks for the countless ways they have loved and cared for us and future generations, even if those acts of love are overlooked.

— — — — — — — —

Holy God who is Mother,
your love is vast and infinite-
taking many forms,
grabbing hold of our hearts in countless ways.

On this day when we celebrate our mothers,
we praise you for Asian mothers,
whose mothering was granted to us in forms
that sometimes felt foreign or undesired,
easy to overlook.

Thank you for the sacrifices of our mothers-
for the sleep lost, going to work at 5am
and coming back at 8am and 3pm to take us to school,
for the countless hours spent laboring in the kitchen
just so we could eat favorite meals,
for choosing simplicity and denial,
so that future generations could enjoy abundance.

Thank you for the nourishment of our mothers-
for coolers of handmade dishes brought onto airplanes
while strangers turn their heads at the smells,
endless bags of snacks and fruit
brought on every road trip,
care packages sent to our dorms or first apartments
brimming with the flavors of home,
for the birthday and postpartum bowls of magic,
the herbal medicines we reluctantly swallowed.

Thank you for the presence of our mothers-
who showed up at recitals and track meets
while offering cheers in mother tongues,
for shoulders that received our warm tears
even while uttering “baby, don’t cry”,
hands that rubbed aching bellies and patted tired butts
while singing folk songs over us,
for laps that cradled our heads at every age
so our ears could be cleaned with bamboo earpicks.

Thank you even for the things we despised-
the nitpicking that was an expression of care,
the push for success that showed you believed in us,
the restrictions that taught us discipline,
language schools and cultural lessons we now savor.

Help those of us struggling
to measure the love of our mothers
in Pinterest-worthy actions and verbal affirmations
to recognize the love of our mothers-
even when it came in forms
we weren’t ready to receive.

Seen or unseen,
received or missed,
we honor the gifts of our mothers,
whose bodies poured out in self-giving love
grant us life abundant,
in the way of our Sacred Creator.

Amen.

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