The Mom Look
D. B. Ryen
Men fear it, children cower before it, and every woman knows how to use it. What’s more, this all-powerful weapon of mothers worldwide may have a biblical basis for wielding it.
“Every one of you shall revere his mother…”
– Leviticus 19:3
All mothers have a superpower: the uncanny ability to shoot lasers out of their eyeballs. For real. This renders their target instantly frozen in fear and quickly complying with whatever command has just been given. This is The Mom Look. It’s terrifying. We’ve all seen it, but only a select demographic has been entrusted with this superhuman power.
The Mom Look occurs worldwide, sometimes associated with other fearsome behaviors. In the Deep South, any sass will instantly elicit the aforementioned laser stare and a shoe flying your way. Ginger-headed mothers of the British Isles are apt to swat a backside. Moms in the dusty Middle East, with a broom ever at hand, are more skilled than samurai when they wield such a formidable weapon. Yet the common denominator is The Look that leads children to cower in fear and teenagers to get their butts in gear. Who do you think Darth Vader got his Death Stare from? If his mother hadn’t died on the planet of Tatooine, there might not have been any Star Wars – a single look from her would have made the Dark Lord himself change his ways. Husbands, similarly, aren’t immune to the terrifying power of their wives’ laser eyes. You can almost feel the heat radiating across the house when he drops his gym bag in the entryway or leaves the milk out on the counter. If Jesus had been a mother, he wouldn’t have needed a whip to clear the Temple – his eyes would have more than sufficed.
In fact, it seems that not even the Son of God was immune to The Mom Look. Take a look:
When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother tells him, “They have no wine.”
“Woman, what’s that to us?” Jesus replies. “My time hasn’t come yet.”
Then his mother tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
There were six stone water jars set there for Jewish purifications, each containing two or three measures. Jesus tells them, “Fill the jars with water.” (Jn 2:3-7)
Whoa, wait a minute. One second Jesus is refusing to help and the next he’s miraculously making wine. What changed his mind? Read between the lines and you might notice an unspoken moment between Jesus and his mother. Let’s journey there, shall we? Imagine you’re in Peter’s shoes, in 27 AD, attending that infamous wedding reception in Cana.
In the kitchen, amongst the empty-handed servants, I found Jesus and his mother Mary in a heated (yet hushed) discussion. She wanted him to fix the wine situation.
Jesus had his arms crossed. “Woman, what is that to us? My time hasn’t come yet.”
It was then that his mother gave him THE LOOK. You know the one. The look only a mother can give. The ole stink eye. Followed closely by the OR ELSE stance. Dang, she wasn’t even my mother and even I was intimidated. Jesus always treated his mom better than I treated mine. And by that, I mean he actually did what she said.
Exasperated, Jesus looked upward and shook his head. He gave a big sigh.
“Fine,” he said softly.
Mary’s face relaxed. She turned to the servants, who were still awkwardly standing there. “Do whatever he tells you,” she said with a smile and walked away back to the party to reassure the parents.
Once his mother was gone, Jesus turned to the servants. “Fill the jars with water,” he told them.
When Mary shot daggers from her eyes (lasers hadn’t been invented yet), you can almost see her son looking skyward with “a great sigh,” as he was prone to do. But ultimately, he honored his mother and complied. Jesus didn’t attend that wedding in Cana with the intention of working miracles, but because of his mother’s “persuasiveness” he saved the day. Jesus’ first miracle may only have happened because of The Mom Look.
As we approach Christmas and are reminded of the young woman who birthed our Savior, let’s keep in mind that Mary wasn’t some hapless, passive maiden. God chose a powerful woman who was able to move heaven and earth with a glance to change the course of history.
Mothers, you may not be strong enough to hog tie your preteen boy or dress your fourteen-year-old girl in more appropriate clothes, but God hasn’t left you helpless. You have a whole arsenal of weapons at your disposal to change the world, not least among them The Mom Look. With your eyes alone you can exert a Force beyond anything seen in a Star Wars movie. So, act in the strength and cunning only you possess, just like Mary did.
Let your lasers fly.
© D. B. Ryen Incorporated, December 2020.
Scripture quote from The Story Of Jesus: All Four Gospels In One.
Narrative used with permission from Never The Same, Chapter 13: Peter.