By Cindy Koch –
She put down the glasses for just a moment. The door swung open and a wave of voices rushed in. Hugs, hair, purses perfume, swirled around the bar as a fresh group of women performed the ritualistic welcome dance at the “meet you there” spot. Wine glasses lined up and ready, the bartender began her pours in a steady liquid rhythm: white, red, white.
“Oh the kids are doing great! Joe is really good at soccer. And Sally is in piano now. You know she earned the highest honors in whatever blah, blah, blah…”
She could now easily tune out the fake-smile small talk that graced the lips of her one-drink customers. After all, she tended bar right next to the busy movie theater, and it was discount night. She was used to small groups hurrying in and out, with nothing really interesting to say. Strangely though, tonight she noticed the sturdy wood bar was packed exclusively with bright eyed women – all talking about their kids. But just as soon as the mad rush began, movie times arrived, and the bar hushed once again to an empty glass-clinking whisper.
Little did she know, next door the theaters were filled with women who flocked to see the new movie release Bad Moms. Groups, singles, friends, sisters, mothers, marched into a deep black room with curious anticipation. They ashamedly cradled their buttery popcorn and Diet Coke, purchased with the extra grocery money hiding in their wallets. Friendly chatter and hugs from long lost friends warmed the dark shadows of the previews. And then the music volume rose above the hum of female gossip, and the movie began.
And the bartender next door wiped the remnants of happy-mom-toasts off of her beaten up bar top.
About an hour before closing time, she poured another whisky and seven for the lonely guy at the end of the bar. But then the door swung open once again and a group of moms returned. This time, however, their conversations were a little quieter. This time their eyes were not as bright. This time, she saw distress and even tears. This humorous comedy inspired something unexpected among this little group. They all recognized that deep in their heart, they were all Bad Moms.
But she saw something else, too. She saw women really listening. She saw honesty about bad kids and worse parenting. She saw women exposed in their weakness. She saw me crushed with my Bad Mom friends at her bar next to the movie theater.
Because I am a Bad Mom too. I am lazy, impatient, and overworked. I have lived as if I mattered most. I haven’t honored God and his gifts like I should, my worship and prayers really suck. I haven’t trusted His love, and so my love for others has failed. There are those whom I have hurt, and those whom I have failed to help. My thoughts and desires have been soiled with sin. I am so very sorry for all of this and ask for grace. I want to do better.
And thanks be to our great God, my bad mom friends are my sisters in Christ. They looked into my disappointed eyes and said, “in the name of Jesus Christ, I forgive you”. They traced a cross on my forehead and told me I was marked with God’s name. They squeezed my hand and told me that this very body would be resurrected to live in a world with no more failures, forever. They died with me on the cross of dead Bad Moms, and they now walk next to me reminding me who I really am- alive in Christ.
Eventhough our bartender saw an undeserving group of Bad moms, I wonder if she heard who we really are. Damn it, we are the saints of God. As much as we’ve screwed up our kids and destroyed our own lives, Christ made us perfect. His grace is enough, even for a Bad Mom.