The McDowells are out of town this weekend. They traveled to Seattle to be there for Brooke’s white coat ceremony. We have all noticed the doctor’s white coat as she enters the exam room. My daughter can’t see, yet I think she suffers from “white coat syndrome” sometimes—the anxiety you feel when you are in the doctor’s office. That coat is a symbol of their hard work, their knowledge and their dedication. Judges have robes. Chefs have hats. Police officers have a badge. These are signs of position, of leadership, of authority. If we were going to think of a symbol for Christ’s position, leadership and authority, what would we choose? What item would you pick for the One who created the universe, who came to rescue all of mankind from sin, who sustains life? I don’t know that we would ever be able to choose that image. The cross would be good, though that is more about forgiveness. The stone rolled away is more a promise of eternal life. They aren’t really images about Christ’s person as much as Christ’s action. But there is an item I can think of that Christ chose Himself to display His leadership, His chosen position, and the way He wanted to use His authority. It was a towel. The towel He wore as He washed the disciples’ feet. The towel He dried their clean feet with. The towel of service—the lowliest service—is Christ’s symbol of leadership. If we want to lead our family and friends to Christ, it couldn’t hurt to try a towel for a change.
When I was 10 years old, I got a part in the school play. After reading the story about little Dermot, I’m glad I had only one line!
He had forgotten his lines in the school play. Happily for him, his mother had placed herself in the front row especially to prompt him.
She caught his eye and mouthed the words silently, but it did not help. Dermot’s memory was completely blank. Finally, she leaned forward and softly whispered the cue, ‘I am the light of the world.’
Dermot beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice announced, ‘My mother is the light of the world!’
Mothers are, aren’t they?! Birthing us, kissing our ouchies, sending us off to school, holding our hands during heartbreaks… Mothers are our nurturers, our first teachers, our cheerleaders, our coaches, and our first representation of God’s love.
An old folk saying tells us, “God couldn’t be everywhere. Therefore he made mothers.” Of course, we know God is everywhere, but I’m pretty sure He doesn’t mind the fact that mothers are a very real example of God’s love in all of our lives. In fact, there were times when God wanted to describe His relationship to His people and the best example He could think of for His love, care, help, and concern was a mother’s love. Take the time to display that kind of love this week, especially to your mother!