Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mother & Son

When I was preparing for Adam's birth, I found myself thinking more and more about Mary. Prior to my pregnancy, I had not really considered her with more than a passing interest. Because Adam was born during the Christmas season, my thoughts turned to this Holiest of Mothers. I began to retrace Mary's steps. I would think "this is about the time she would be beginning the trip to Bethlehem". When I would uncomfortably hoist myself in my car, I would think of Mary, riding a donkey on that long journey. When I checked into the hospital, I thought of Mary at the manger. When I saw my team of medical professionals ready to help Adam into the world, I thought of Mary delivering, alone, with nothing but her trust in God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I ran my hand over my belly and thought of the enormous responsibility of raising a son, I imagined Mary doing the same. Only she was raising God's Son. The Savior. When I held my son, I imagined her holding the Great King of Kings. But to her, He was not only a King. He was her baby. She swaddled Him as I swaddled Adam, she bathed Him as I bathe Adam, she kissed His head and His hands as I kiss Adam. Jesus slept against her breast as Adam sleeps against me. I suddenly felt a deep kinship with this woman. I was linked to her by the great force of Motherhood.

Now, as Good Friday approaches, I again find my thoughts turning to Mary, only now the thoughts are sorrowful. As I hold my son, I imagine Mary, a witness at the cross. When she saw His hands pierced with nails, did she picture instead the pink chubby hands that used to wrap themselves so tightly around her finger? When she saw the crown of thorns digging into His skull, did she picture instead the downy head she used to lay her cheek against late at night? When He called out in despair for His Father, did she remember His infant cries that called to her for comfort? How torturous it must have been to not be able to gather Him into her arms and soothe Him, just as she did when He was small. I cannot not imagine the immeasurable anguish she felt as she watched His crucifixion.

On Sunday I will remember the Great Joy, but for now, I will think about the time when the world was in darkness. I will hold my son more tightly because Mary couldn't hold her Son. I will mourn, and I'll remember Mary.