Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

Motherhood of a Different Kind


Motherhood begins with life. Life is birthed, awakened, revived, nurtured, and identity is called into being all under the call of Motherhood. C.S. Lewis in the Great Divorce, describes a woman whose spirit deeply inspires and stirs me. The call to Motherhood (not smotherhood, there is a difference) is one of nurturing and vision. Read on:

If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done . . . only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.

“Is it?…is it?” I whispered to my guide.

“Not at all,” said he. “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”

“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”

“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”

“And who are these gigantic people…look! They’re like emeralds…who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?”

“Haven’t ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”

“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”

“They are her sons and daughters.”

“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”

“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”

“Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”

“No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”

“And how…but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs…why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.”

“They are her beasts.”

“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”

“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”

I looked at my Teacher in amazement.

“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.”

Motherhood of a different kind is more than physically bearing children – it’s about partnering with the Father to birth things in His children. Hoping, seeing, calling out, awakening, and believing – these also are marks of the mission of Motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day

There is joy

Author: notunredeemed

Jesus follower, people lover, truth scribbler. Addicted to pain (growth). Passionate about relationships, identity and the transforming power of Christ.

2 thoughts on “Motherhood of a Different Kind

  1. Love this!

  2. Dearest Katie,

    I appreciate you thinking about us, who long to be mothers, on this holiday.

    It is nice to recognize that every woman does have an instinct to nurture, as a mother does.

    However, we need to accept things as they are and not over-spiritualize them or bring them another meaning, just to give us comfort in our circumstances “”I am a mother regardless of having my children”””. Some of us will never be a young bride, a young mother, a mother with her own birth children, a mother with many children, even a mother with adopted children.

    In counseling, I think the mechanism described in this post is called “”compensation”” – we don’t have something so we put another meaning on the thing we lack so we feel we own it too in some way.

    The callenge is to not use any compensation, but accept things from God as they are. I am not a mother. I may disciple girls and like children, but I am not a mama. A mama does have a family and children, and I don’t.
    We need to stop redefining terms so that they suit our wants.



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