Good Friday from a Mother's Eyes
Since I've had my own children I read the stories of Mary, the mother of Jesus, a little more keenly. I remember being 8 months pregnant with Emily during the Christmas season and thinking of how much Mary's hips must have ached as she made that long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey. I have a little more empathy for Mary since motherhood has given me new eyes.
Today I'm thinking of her again.
3 years ago this month my dear Uncle Bob was dying from pancreatic cancer. Every day he slipped further and further from this world and closer and closer to eternity. Our family circled around him except for one person--Gigi, his mother. Seeing him in such agony had become too physically hard for her own weakened condition and so she said her final goodbye to him 2 weeks before he died as he lingered in his last moments of consciousness.
I try not to think about that goodbye but when I do, tears spring to my eyes and my heart hurts and fear wells up inside of me at the thought of having to say goodbye to my own children. There is something very unnatural, something horribly cruel, about having to bury your children.
Today I'm thinking of Mary. Today I'm thinking about how horribly cruel it must have felt to see her son struggle under the weight of a cross, broken and bleeding, dying for sins He didn't commit.
I see her standing at the foot of the cross, arching her neck to see her son as he labors for breath, moaning from the pain and praying for those who torture him.
Can you see her? Her hair is probably more grey and her skin more wrinkled than the 3 decades earlier. She has become a woman, made a home, raised a family and now she stands just feet away from her dying son. I can imagine that as she stands there watching his clothing being gambled for she remembers his first grin, his first wobbly steps, the way her heart stopped when she first heard him say, "Mama". I imagine that as the blood drips from his torn body she remembers kissing skinned knees and singing lullabies goodnight.
I wonder if Mary bargained with God. I wonder if she silently pleaded, "To hell with all of them, that is my son". I have no doubt that as He gave His life for us she would have done anything to give her life for His.
Mary couldn't see in to the future; she was as bound to this earth as much as we are. We know her faith was strong, the early chapters of Luke leave us no doubt that it was, but at that moment in time, as her firstborn son hung on a cross like a criminal, I wonder if her mother's heart didn't break, beg and bargain for a different ending.
Today I'm thinking of Mary. Before He was ever her Savior He was her son.