It was so touching to see mother-love in action like this.
As I drove by a pond, I saw a family of three geese on a grassy area between the road and the pond. While the baby walked around, it’s mother – and father – walked with it, staying between the gosling and the road, and guiding it away from the road. Intuitively and persistently these parents were caring for their young charge, keeping it safe.
In my house, a live bald eagle Nest Cam in Decorah, Iowa, airing online has been the big news item for a while. We’ve watched over a period of weeks as a mother eagle tended her eggs in the nest and, along with the father, cared for the newly hatched eaglets. They’re getting pretty big now.
I have fond memories of times my mother cared for me when I was little. Some of those memories include blankets and chicken noodle soup, and her reading comforting hymns to me.
Mother-love protects, shelters, feeds, and nurtures. It comforts and it heals.
Here’s a profound example of how children receiving mother-love fared much better than those who didn’t – it’s that important!
Anne Harrington, Harvard College Professor and Professor for the History of Science, in her book, “The Cure Within – A History of Mind-Body Medicine” (page 191), shares a 1945 study by psychoanalytic psychiatrist Rene Spitz in which one group of babies was cared for with good hygiene and excellent physical care but received little if any individual love or attention. This group became physically and emotionally stunted. Most could not walk or talk even at the age of four. “Within two years 37 percent … had died from infection.”
In contrast, a second group of babies was cared for in a prison nursery that was “far dirtier” but received loving affection from their mothers each day. “Not a single one of the second group of children succumbed to infection during the five-year period of Spitz’s study.”
The Bible shares a glimpse of the mother-love of God in these passages:
“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” (Deuteronomy 32:9-12)
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13)
With Mother’s Day coming up, its a nice time to give thought to how mother-love has been brought into my life, how I can bring it into the lives of others, and how God’s mother-love is there for me and everyone else when we need it, whether we know it or not. In this sense, every day is mother-love day.
Click here to view the bald eagle Nest Cam in Decorah, Iowa¹.