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Mothers Who Mourn


Close up of woman's face, eyes closed, she is crying and tears are streaming down her face. Photo provided via free download by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

In Judges chapter 4, we read the story of Sisera, the commander in service to King Jabin of Canaan, whom the Israelites wanted to conquer. During battle, the Israelites overcame Sisera’s entire army. This is how it came to be that Sisera, exhausted, ended up at the tent of Jael as he was fleeing for his life and thought her tent to be a place of safety and rest. That didn’t turn out so well for Sisera, because, while he was sleeping, Jael drove a stake in his head, thus pinning him, dead, to the ground.


But, that’s isn’t what struck me in my reading. It was a portion of Deborah’s victory song, in chapter 5, verses 28-30, that stopped me in my tracks. It’s about Sisera’s mother, who keeps looking “longingly” for her son to return home. I was reminded of Jeremiah 31:15, the prophesy of “Rachel weeping for her children.” In its context, the Jeremiah passage is about the great sadness of the Babylonian captivity, but many consider this to also be prophetic about the time to come, when Herod will murder all the male babies 2 years of age and under, in hopes of killing the newborn Messiah. It is in this passage in Matthew 2:16-18 where the Jeremiah prophesy is mentioned.


As I read about Sisera's mother, I contemplated the fact that all warriors, all murderers, all abusers, all … (you insert what comes to mind here) … each one of them have mothers, mothers who weep for their children. We don’t hear about the mothers, much, in the news. We hear about the perpetrators of violence, about those who are no longer with us because of violence, but we don’t hear about their mothers. They…all…have…mothers.


As I contemplated these mothers, the following Haiku emerged:


Mothers Who Mourn


Rachel’s deep weeping

All warriors have mothers

whose sons’ deaths, they mourn



Thoughts for meditation:

  1. Say a prayer for someone whom you know morns for a child. Write them a letter, a real one, the kind you put a stamp on and mail. Let them know you were thinking of them.

  2. If you are mourning the loss of someone, consider being a part of a support group, or supportive faith group, if you are not already.

  3. Read through all of the above-referenced passages and contemplate what the Divine might be saying to you.

  4. Journal, do something creative, or spent time in nature, in response to what you are hearing from the Divine on this topic.

  5. Consider volunteering for a group that supports women in some way.


Pastor Lisa


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