For more than a century, the majestic statue, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” better known as the Statue of Liberty has towered over Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor as a symbol of the many freedoms we enjoy in the United States. Many of you have been to the island and have toured the national park associated with it. As you are aware, the famous statue was a gift from the people of France in appreciation for America’s contributions to the spirit of independence that lies deep in every human heart.
The statue was designed by the famous French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Supposedly, it is modeled after the Roman goddess Libertas, the embodiment of liberty. But as the story goes, when Bartholdi looked for a more precise model whose form and features he could sculpt, Bartholdi chose his own mother!
Bartholdi’s choice shouldn’t surprise us at all. While mothers sometimes unfairly get saddled with the reputation of hindering our liberation, the fact of the matter is that they only want what’s best for us; and, truth be told, many of “our” choices ultimately end up confining us, not freeing us.
As we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday, if your mother is still with you, make sure that you thank her profusely for not only the gift of life she bestowed upon you, but also for the liberating lessons she gave you, lessons from which you are no doubt still benefitting. And if, like me, your mother has passed on, pause for a moment to thank God for the blessing that she was to you and how her counsel still lives on with you. Keep that thought in mind not just for this special Sunday, but maintain it for the days ahead and you will be free to live life in all its abundance, just like your mother (and Jesus himself) always wanted you to do.
“Listen…and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (It) is like a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9).