Oct 27, 2011
"Wonderful are thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth." Psalm 139:15
Following a motivational talk, a teenaged girl approached me with something that was troubling her for years. She said she always felt unloved by her mother. She emphasized that no matter how good her mother was with her, she felt a nagging emptiness in her heart.
With nothing much to go on, I told the girl that I would ask the Principal to call her mother. The following week the mother came to see me. I asked the mother if she was aware what her daughter was going through. She told me that her daughter had expressed it to her a number of times and no amount of convincing seemed to help. Knowing that they were open with each other was a huge plus as this would eventually help me suture invisible wounds.
Treading carefully I asked about her mental and emotional condition when she was pregnant with this daughter in question, reminding her that a lot depended on the answer. She admitted with tears that right up to the time her daughter was born; she felt that she was not prepared for another child. Worse, she said, terminating the pregnancy invaded her mind time and again. She explained that her relationship with her mother-in-law had gone dreadfully wrong; and that she was already finding it hard to cope with the one child she had. She also conceded that the only reason she did not terminate the pregnancy was because of her steadfast faithfulness to God.
I asked her if she would be willing to bare the truth to her daughter and seek reconciliation through the spirit of forgiveness. She said she wanted her daughter whole, and that nothing less would do. I helped her with the use of words, and once she had revealed the truth to her daughter, the result was miraculous. It was touching to see the hugging mother-daughter duo crying words of ‘sorry’ and ‘I love you’ repeatedly. The wounds had healed in both of them.
This was about three years ago. Recently, on my regular walk in a nearby park, a girl came running towards me. I thought she was just excited at seeing my pet golden retriever, who is a darling of so many people in Manipal. With a mile-long smile, she asked me if I recognized her. She was the same girl. She told me she wanted to thank me for bringing love into her life. She said it had changed her life completely.
I will share another case with my readers and this is of an 8th Standard boy, who simply hated girls, and would not hesitate to hurt them at the slightest of provocation. He was particularly indifferent when female teachers gave him any advice. He never felt remorse when he hit someone and, in fact, boasted that “I am happy the way I am.” He could not explain why he felt so much rage. I asked him if he realized that some day he could land in jail. He said that he did not care.
There is one thing he said that I found very interesting. He would repeatedly insist on seeing his mother. (She works overseas and his father looks after him.) With the father reluctant to open up, the case was all but closed as ‘unsolved’.
A few days later he got into trouble again and this time the father came rushing to see me. Some questions I had asked earlier were haunting him. I had specifically asked him, and now I asked him again, about his relationship with his wife at the time when she was pregnant. This is what he had to say: his wife did not want a child because their relationship was going bitter by the day. She wanted to terminate the pregnancy, but he would not allow it. What was happening is that as they selfishly quarrelled all through the prenatal stage, an innocent, unwanted and wounded child was being shaped in a turbulent womb.
I later spoke to the mother over the phone. On my instructions, the boy’s mother has been talking to the boy regularly, and in the last five to six months he has not been into any kind of trouble. If I ask him if he still wants to see his mother, he never fails to say ‘yes’ with a shy, innocent, smile. I am confident of another emotional healing once his mother comes on her holidays.
Babies carrying wounds from the womb are growing in number. While the circumstances surrounding the above cases are unusual, what is now common is working mothers contemplating abortions because they believe their pregnancies are ill-timed. They also have ‘friends’ who inject negative suggestions. One such suggestion is: “How will you manage office, home and child? Believe me, it is not easy. Don’t you throw your career away! You can always have a baby another time.” Rather than follow those who suffer from spiritual blindness, these words from the Holy Bible act like a lamp in those moments of darkness: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
If any woman thinks that pregnancy is a result of a biological act and nothing else, then she knows only half the truth. The mournful cries of a childless couple can help reveal the full truth. A child is a gift from God.
"For Thou form my inward parts: Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14
From time to time we hear of horrendous crimes committed by school-going kids. In one such instance in England, three boys killed their classmate and left his body on a railway track. What is shocking is that these kids felt little or no remorse for their action.
The culture of death appears to be taking root in the wombs.
There are expectant mothers who contemplate abortion, but are aware that it is a sin. They reluctantly accept the pregnancy; not knowing that the regret they feel is tangible to make the child within them feel unloved and unwanted.
Nothing makes me angrier than to hear imprudent parents tell me - right in front of their child - how useless their child is. How casually we kill our children! Somewhere deep inside the recesses of the parent’s conscience is repressed guilt that manifests itself as helplessness in coping with a child that never felt loved in the first instance. Deep scars can neither be healed by pampering, nor with aggression and abuse. Unless reconciliation takes place, the parent and the child will look hopeless to each other.
There is a beeline of troubled children at psychotherapy clinics. Most parents worry that their wards may be suffering from psychiatric problems when their child looks withdrawn over a period of time. Resorting to medications to alter a child’s behaviour - so that it can be brought to what we consider ‘normal’ - is not a very healthy option. Like the many shortcuts that rule our lives, this is another one.
If a child can bleed psychologically in the dark silence of the womb and beyond, a child can also suffer physiologically. New-born babies of drug addicts, alcoholic, or smoking mothers are known to suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms. The infant’s cries can torment the toughest of nurses in maternity wards.
In Hindu mythology we have the story of Abhimanyu who listens to his mother while he is nestled in her womb.
In the Holy Bible we have the story of Mother Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth a visit. This she does on hearing that Elizabeth is pregnant. The Holy Bible says that the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy. This is what Elizabeth exclaims, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy." - Luke 1:44.
When ultrasound first confirmed how a baby in the womb responds to music, it was termed as extraordinary. Now, this news remains exciting only to the mother. For others, it is common knowledge and not such a big deal. Science is only confirming what was revealed centuries ago in the Holy Scriptures. Today there are prenatal centres that teach women how to ensure the wellbeing of the child within – like you have one commercial claiming that consuming Horlicks can make your child grow an additional few inches; and another claiming that eating Kellogg’s cornflakes can turn your child into a genius. There you go; it is as if mothers have no natural role to play anymore!
If anything comes between us and God, it is over-reliance on our intellectual capacities. Reason and faith need not be at loggerheads with each other – they can go hand in hand. In this equation of reason and faith, pride has no place. Expectant mothers need to understand that their mental – and not just physical - state, determines the overall wellbeing of the child within. It is not just about ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’; an equally important cradle will always remain the womb of a mother.
Sadly, motherhood does not receive the kind of respect and honour it deserves. There was a time when a mother’s role received a lot of importance. The present mother is left to fend for herself as she juggles between multiple roles that she must fulfill expertly. A working mother receiving a lot of love and care from her husband is truly a fortunate woman.
Here is something I picked from a prenatal expert. Even from the beginning of the baby's life, it is accustomed to listening to the heartbeat of the mother and her voice. It is rocked about as she walks. The child takes comfort in the heartbeat of the mother. During the time of pregnancy, the mother is the custodian of the physical as well as the spiritual components of the preborn child in her womb. A mother's thoughts also play a vital role in a child's character, nature and disposition. The child is lucky if the thoughts and feelings of the mother are positive. Positive thoughts of the mother unravel themselves as intelligence, talent, confidence and adjustability in the child later. Negative thoughts in turn have negative effects. Motherhood is not just a happening. It is in fact a pleasant journey; a journey from the womb that stretches over.
We can derive a lot of strength from knowing that “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Oliver Sutari - Archives: