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Good can come when mothers take a stand

Civil War relic ©D.P. Clarke
Civil War relic ©D.P. Clarke
Civil War relic ©D.P. Clarke

In Our Daily Bread, David McCasland wrote about the origins of Mother’s Day. He explained how more than half-a-million soldiers died during the American Civil War, after which the nation, though physically restored, remained divided along political lines. David wrote, “A few years later [after the war ended in 1865], Ann Reeves Jarvis began her annual Mother’s Friendship Day in an effort to reunite families and neighbors alienated by war.” When Ann passed away in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, sought to make Mother’s Day a holiday. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

But another schism created at that time still plagues the world today. America was divided along racial lines. Whether ones ethnic origin is Asian, African, European, Hispanic or Middle Eastern, people groups are still judged negatively and treated with inferiority. In recent headlines, Donald Sterling, owner of the L.A. Clippers, was caught on tape telling a mixed-race African-American/Hispanic female acquaintance to not bring Blacks to his games. Mr. Sterling also has a history of not renting properties he owns to Blacks and Hispanics.

It has been said that the most segregated hour in America happens Sunday mornings. Once a week, the nation is racially split along denominational lines. It has also been said that healing begins at home. And this is where mothers can play a significant role. As evidenced by the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), when mothers unite they can effect the world for good.

When racial intolerance erupts into violence, the outcome is devastating. On one side a mother loses a child who was a victim. On the other, a mother loses a child who was the perpetrator of the crime. When the church divides along racial lines, everyone’s a victim and everyone loses.

The question becomes, what can be done to heal this divide? Perhaps through education the tide of racial intolerance can begin to turn. And the time to start teaching children how to accept others is at an early age. Psalm 127:4 says children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior, which means they can be aimed at something, such as this worldwide racial divide. Thus the 19th century example set by Ann Reeves Jarvis, and the importance of Mom’s, becomes significant. Perhaps someone can start a 21st century house to house movement, Mothers Against Racial Intolerance (MARI).

The war between ethnic groups rages on, fueled by invisible forces of spiritual wickedness in high places. Racial hatred is not of God, and a mother’s love can be a potent weapon in overcoming it. To mothers everywhere, this writer asks you to pray about becoming a force for healing a divide in this nation, and the world, once again.

For all you do, God bless you, and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

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