May 10, 2020 · Bob Gass
“Her children respect and bless her.” Proverbs 31:28 MSG
Throughout history, poets and orators have been lavish in their praise of motherhood. George Washington said, “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am, I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” Abraham Lincoln wrote, “My mother’s prayers…have always followed me. They’ve clung to me all my life.” And Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother.” Official observation of Mother’s Day is credited to the tireless letter-writing and lobbying of one persistent woman. When Anna Jarvis’s mother died in 1905, Anna determined to devote her life to a crusade for giving public recognition to the mothers of the nation. On learning that designation of an annual “Mother’s Day” required an act of Congress and a presidential proclamation, Jarvis became a one-woman lobby. Evasion, indifference, and hostility didn’t deter her. Nine years later, she rejoiced in the success of her efforts. President Woodrow Wilson declared an annual observance of Mother’s Day, the first one on May 9, 1914. Since then, observance of Mother’s Day has spread to many countries around the world. In 1948, Jarvis died, blind and penniless in Philadelphia, but her dream had been realized. The Bible says, “A good woman is…worth far more than diamonds…She senses the worth of her work and is in no hurry to call it quits…When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say and…always says it kindly…Her children respect and bless her” (vv. 1, 9, 17, 28 MSG). Could there be a more worthy tribute?