Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
The author Elizabeth Stone says that when you have a child, you "decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Isaiah invokes that intensity of maternal love: a mother's fierce desire to protect her baby, her delight in her child's tiniest accomplishments and her unhesitating forgiveness for her child's misdeeds.
But Isaiah also knows that some mothers do forget their children. For all kinds of reasons, not always the mother's fault, some mothers do not shelter their children and may even harm them.
And so Isaiah reminds us: Even the strongest human bonds may fail us. Those we love with a child's baffled ferocity may let us down. But God is more faithful than the tenderest mother; God is a refuge for those whose mothers were not tender. He cherishes us and will never forget us.
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne