I’m eagerly anticipating spending Mother’s Day with my daughter in Calgary. The last time she and I spent Mother’s Day together was 2002. Seventeen years ago—nearly half her lifetime now—when she worked as a nanny in Switzerland.
There, it’s known as Muttertag and it’s still on record as my best Mother’s Day ever.
The day began with a bus ride through the breathtakingly beautiful Swiss countryside to Mindy’s church in Sursee where she had a big surprise for us. She was performing in a short drama with the church’s youth group! Though we couldn’t understand a word of Swiss German, it still melted this drama director’s heart.
The sermon that morning was lost on us, too, but it didn’t matter. If the drama hadn’t been enough, the music more than lifted my heart. Although the songs were unfamiliar, we tried to follow along with the German words on the overhead screen. As we joined in praise to God as best we could, I was struck with a brief glimpse of how it will look when we gather around the throne of God in heaven, every tribe and tongue worshiping together—but without stumbling over foreign words. I looked around and saw faces of people who clearly knew Jesus as an intimate friend, not the distant and lifeless icon portrayed in some of the historical churches we had toured.
Then they sang a song we knew, first in German, then in English. The familiar tune and words brought tears to my eyes as we sang along wholeheartedly: “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side. With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way.”
God had indeed made a way for Mindy to find Christian brothers and sisters thousands of miles from home. He had made a way for us to visit her and share this experience. He’d made a way to show me his children are family, regardless of language, customs, or geography. My heart was full.
After the service, all the mothers received little tin buckets with live roses in them. My bucket still sits on my dresser.
At McDonald’s for lunch, they were giving away free coffee and cookies to all the mothers—and if you know anything about European coffee, you know it got me through the rest of that busy day. We spent a delightful afternoon walking around looking at the abundant flowers. We laughed at a sign that said, “Do you like to know how your English is? Ask for Linguaskill and we will tell you!”
Hubby and I called our mothers, neither of whom had ever received a phone call from Switzerland.
We capped off the beautiful day with a delicious dinner at a lovely restaurant with a family Mindy had grown close to. The other mom and I enjoyed complementary dessert.
I don’t expect to experience such an exotic Mother’s Day this year, but I’ll have something far better. My girl is now a mother herself, and I’ll get to spend time with two little boys I haven’t seen for seventeen months. Thanks to modern technology, I hope they know me even if they’re shy at first. Shucks, I may just be a little shy myself at first.
When merely being together is a rare treat, it really takes nothing else to make a mother’s day. Have a good one!