Updated: Nov 5, 2019
A powerful story comes out of the bombing of Hiroshima. One morning, a mother had packed lunch for her teenage son who went off to school. Unfortunately, he never made it, for the atom bomb fell and the young man, walking on a bridge, was obliterated.
The mother, having survived the blast, went looking for her child. As he crossed the bridge, she saw her son’s lunch box, with his name, Shigeru, still visible on it. It was crushed flat and the grieved mother knew that the charred remains next to it were her son’s. She, nevertheless, opened the lunch box and saw that the food in it had been converted to black carbon, just like her son’s flesh had been.
“Oh, Shigeru,” she cried out. “You died before you could even eat your lunch.”
Talk about a mother’s love, a mother’s almost irrational love for her child. And yet, amazing enough, time and again the Bible uses that image, that of a mother’s love, to express the kind of love that God has for us, for each of us.
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I [God] comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” (Isa. 66:13)
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I [God] will not forget you!” (Isa. 49:15).
Jesus even takes that love in the direction of the animal kingdom as well: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34)
Thus, what could be more important in this life, now, to not just know God for ourselves, but to know, personally, to experience, personally, that love? And we can. Even amid the sorrows of this fallen world, if we open our hearts to God and to reality of His love, our minds will follow—and the knowledge that God’s love can be the foundation premise and principle on how we live our lives.
How nice, day by day, even amid toils and troubles, to always be aware that we are loved by God like a mother loves her child.