Category Archives: Tribute

Mother’s Nature: A Tribute on Mother’s Day

Image result for happy mother's day

She has a way with words, soft- spoken or stern, we know she means business.  Still, open to compromise, she trades in sweets, recants her belief in punishment and concedes though she could have won the argument.  Because the relationship is more important, because that’s her baby.  And we will be her baby even when have our own, even though we have gray hair and wrinkles of our own.  You know how mother is.

Running a domestic empire, she is all things to all the people in her home.  Mother is the hum in this well- oiled machine.  She keeps things going as arranger, composer, conductor and performer.  Playing the drums on the steering wheel as she drops them off at school.  Applauding at recitals, on and off the court and field.  Snapping her fingers as she cooks, confident of her culinary performance.  You know that mother loves you.

She has her hands in everything— wiping tears, patting heads, giving high- fives, kissing cheeks, keeping secrets, sharing stories, pressing capes.  She makes superheroes and heroines, believing in our superpowers as we leap off couches and jump out of trees.  Skinning knees and breaking bones, you know that mother will make it feel better.  Her kisses have magic in them.

And no matter who runs to us, we look for mother because she will love us.  She is eager to hug us.  Her nurturing presence is her nature.  She will care for, tend to, rear and support us.  Through thick and thin, she is faithful to the end, our forever friend and our forever home.

We have lived in her body.  Connected after the cord is cut, there is no separation of mother and child.  She will follow us to the ends of the earth and shuttle us back.  Constructing the railroad and then putting us on the right track.     You know that there is nothing that mother won’t do.

No circus act but she is a mother bear, tight rope walker, juggler and ring master.  She can jump through flaming hoops with a baby on her hip and a cell phone pressed firmly on her ear.  She is the greatest show on earth.  You know that mother will take care of it. 

So, we will take care of you.  Giving you flowers while you live and singing your praises to the top of our lungs—because we know that you would do anything for us, because it is who you are.  Because it is mother’s nature.


Her Hands: A Tribute to Mothers

imageHer hands are made of the good God stuff, divine fairy dust. Sweet yet strong, she may be shorter but her reach is long. These hands pull us up and out.  They are “how we got over.” Her hands are our bridge and our mother- cradle. Pushing us to go harder, faster, higher, her hands never lower— just like our expectations for her.

We expect her hands to be there. They are the chief representatives of her care. Her fingerprints are everywhere. Our mothers’ hands are all in and they have a hand in all that we are and ever will be. The reason for our success, her hands solve the mystery. She works in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Though her hands are soft, they are not fragile or weak. She does not treat them delicately. They do not fold well or break easily. Her hands, though tired, will never stop working for us— because there is always something to tweak (also known as “a mother’s touch”).

Foundation and support beams, her hands provide the structure and support that we need. Giving affection and direction, they are not as firm as they seem. Her hands make dirt pies and give high fives. They clean snotty noses and bake bread— though not at the same time.

I will admit that her hands are subject to compromise. She says, “No” and then “Yes.” We are her weakness; this cannot be denied. Just smile and say, “Please, mommy.” Her hands wave off her own request that we wait. They suspend the fact that we have had enough. She says, “Go ahead, baby.” That trick works whether we are her little boy or a grown lady.

Her hands do the heavy lifting as she will move the world for us and if we are honest, she rules the world for us. The blood in her veins our legacy. Her fingers point us to our destiny. Her hands are full of power, grace, love and dignity.

I am willing to bet that they are “finger- licking good.” So, I lift my hands in praise of mothers, as I should.

April 4

imageOn the anniversary of his assassination, I am remembering these words:

“Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait

Emanuel AME Church: In Memoriam

charlestonnineThis morning, I awake with the same sick feeling in my stomach, to the same troubling reality: Nine praying people, nine believing people, nine shining lights of Christ blown out… “blown away” they say by a 21 year old named Dylann Roof.  They sat at a table in the presence of an enemy who poured a cup of violence (Psalm 23.5).  He had hoped to start a race war.  He had come to pick a fight with those who are called to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5.39).

They are the latest victims of hate, new victims of an old hatred and I want to remember them, six women and three men, today.  I remember:

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45

Cynthia Hurd, 54

Susie Jackson, 87

Ethel Lance, 70

Rev. Depayne Middleton- Doctor, 49

Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41

Tywanza Sanders, 26

Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74

Myra Thompson, 59

She Is Woman: A Tribute to Mothers

urlLet the praise of mothers around the world and around the corner, from amateur to sage, to every mother at every stage continue.  I present to you, “She is woman.”

She is woman; “hear her roar.” Hear her confess her faults, declare her intent, make vows of fidelity and coo as she looks into the mirror- face of her child. Watch her change her appearance, remodel her outlook on life, re-arrange her priorities— right before their eyes. It will take longer for her to get dressed than to get her life in order so that she can be mother.

She is woman; “hear her roar.” Hear her bribe with cookies or popsicles, lollipops or trips to the park or whatever you want.  “Just stop crying.”

Toddler tamer, ringmaster and ringleader, singing “ring around the Rosie.”  Her pockets are full of broken cookies, stuffed with small toys to keep them occupied. She is a one- woman circus act, juggling work and play, dinner and nap time, self- care and the care of the little others that remind us so much of ourselves. It will take her longer to clean up the house and their faces than it will to make the sacrifice to meet their needs so that she can be trusted as mother.

She is woman; “hear her roar.” hear her sing the alphabet song and teach them to tie their shoes. Her womb is their first room; this is why she cries when they leave for school. Still, she will pack book bags and lunches. She will hug and try not to hold on. She will wave and try not to beckon them home to her. It will take her longer to accept that they are growing up and to let them go though she knows that she is still mother.

She is woman; “hear her roar.” Hear her soften her voice for hard- headed teenagers in order to be heard. Uncompromising, she tries to fit morals and values, accountability and responsibility into the teenage mind. It’s a tight squeeze but she makes it fit. She makes it work, balancing checkbooks and the limited hours to be there for everyone else. It will take her longer to be present for herself than it will to accept that she does not have to hover, no helicopter parenting welcomed. “If you stay at the mall or the movie theater, everyone will know that you are my mother. Please leave. I love you.”

She is woman; “hear her roar.” Hear her proudly tell stories of their childhood to friends and spouses, boasting because their accomplishments are hers and she thankful that she got to be their mother. Candid and embarrassing, passionate and full of laughter, she becomes the central character. It will take her longer than to realize that she is not a supporting cast member than to accept that she is our heroine and mother.

She is woman; “hear her roar.” Hear her fight for her independence as the children she cared for now seek to care for her. “I am your mother; you don’t tell me what to do,” she says.

Now, hear your children roar; hear us that you have cooed and bribed and taught and comforted and boasted of. Let us have our say today. Yes, you are woman but you are our woman so let us see ourselves in your eyes today. We promise not to coo but we do declare our intent to love you and to be as faithful to you as you have been to us. It may take you awhile to accept this as you are always mother.


Yes, she is woman but she is always mother, mother- ringleader, mother- negotiator, mother- teacher, mother- mediator, mother- storyteller, mother- friend. She is mother in the beginning and mother ‘til the end. “Hear her roar.”