Mary’s heart (Had I known?)
Many years ago, I attended a Christian mom’s conference. In attendance was a recording artist, who I wish that I could remember her name. At the conclusion of the two-day event, she sang a song that asked and answered what she would have done if she was Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her song moved me to tears. At the time, I had just recently used my experience as a miscarriage mom to help one of my friends through the loss of a baby. The song ripped the recently formed new scab on an old scar. Losing a child at any point is a tender wound for life.
This week a new friend shared a question that brought her some comfort following the death of her daughter. “Would you have done anything differently if you had known?” I think this is a question grieving parents often ask themselves. I know that I do. Of course, there are trillions of things we would do differently. What the heart would choose, however, is so vastly different than life’s reality. What truly matters is God chose us to be the parents of Reed (and our three miscarried babies), and we loved them all the very best ways we could.
Today marks an anniversary in God’s love story that is both mourned and celebrated by Christians worldwide, now and throughout history. Symbolically representing the day Jesus had his last supper, The Last Supper, with his disciples, we remember the words he tried to convey about what was coming. For me, like the words sang at that conference, I have to wonder if Mary understood what he meant. Did she know? If she did, would she have done anything differently?
I have been thinking what her thoughts would have been like for about a month now.
Tomorrow, our church will host a Good Friday service with various members acting out what it might have been like for witnesses to Jesus’ life and death. I am one of the participants, playing Jesus’ mom. I will admit to being honored in the asking, but will readily confess that the writing of this script was more challenging than I could have ever imagined.
I have spent time thinking about Mary’s life through a lens that I never had before – that of a grieving mom. Do not get me wrong! As much as I love him, Reed was not the Savior of the world. That hasn’t been the challenge. The difficulty lies in knowing the pain of losing a child, the anguish that a mother feels. I know what I wanted to do (and did); so, I can only imagine that Mary wanted to do (and perhaps did) some of the same things.
All her questions waiting to be answered simply did not make sense while her beautiful baby boy hung on a cross. Waiting to see how God would use this hurt definitely resonates between her heart and mine. Baring her heart and soul and not knowing where it would lead, I understand that too. Knowing that today, this pain is the greatest, hardest, most challenging difficulty I have ever endured as well as not knowing if I could physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and mentally weather a blow of this magnitude. Those are shoes I can comfortably wear.
Trying to get inside her head, feeling that I could understand her heart, was an emotional task. Throughout all my preparations, I just wanted to hug her. To tell her that she would survive this, she would be able to get through it, and with God’s help, she would someday feel joy again.
But then again, tomorrow is only Friday, and Sunday’s coming.
The day came when she knew all of those things for herself.
Easter has always been my favorite holiday, but since the death of my son, the death (and more importantly RESURRECTION) of God’s (and Mary’s) son has the utmost significance to me. That comforting hug I want to share with Mary? Someday, because of the willing obedience of her Son, I will get to do just that.
But on that day, there will be no tears. My questions will lose their significance, as I can only imagine so did Mary’s.
No tears. No sadness. Only JOY!
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal! Thomas Moore