Friday, April 2, 2010

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.


Rachel T. said...

Beautiful writing! Brought a tear to my eye! In the Orthodox church, tonight we have a sort of funeral service for Christ, with the singing of many "lamentations," some of which are written as Mary's lamentations for her son. Christ's response to her is in this hymn, which gives me chills!

And we even have ancient icons remembering her pain as a mother, such as this:

Anonymous said...

that was beautifl my friend! thanks
-bestie k

Anonymous said...

finally had a chance to finish reading (earlier at work i started crying at the end of the 1st paragraph! couldn't quite finish reading the whole post there). so beautifully written, so relatable, so true. i cannot imagine what mary must have felt.

thank you for sharing your gift with us - it moves people!


:)Rhonda said...

My heart broke as I read your beautifully written words. I remember those days before Bob passed away and how your grandma suffered. I prayed so many prayers for her, and you, and your family. I am praying for her (and all of you) as the anniversary of his passing nears. I feel the same as you. When I watched Passions of the Christ, I had to do it in segments. My heart broke so completely while watching that movie. As the mother of a small son, at the time, I could not imagine what Mary was going through. I still to this day cannot fathom the depth of grief she felt as her son suffered and died...for those who beat him, spit on him, swore at him, pull out his hair, put thorns on his head and ultimately crucified him. Even seeing snippets from that movie brings me to tears.
Your blog is a blessing! You are so profound. I look forward to seeing what is going to come out next. I love that you have humor, wit, hot pix...and faith. I love the side that not everyone puts in their blog. I love that you make me stop and think. I love that your daily musings cause me to pray fervently. I am blessed to know you. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for helping me to remember what is really important.

annie leavitt said...

thanks so much for that.

and thanks for the shout out on your blog! : )