I can imagine it… One minute he was a baby – so helpless and fragile… unable to do much of anything on his own. You probably helped him, but delighted in doing so. You must have savored every coo, every step, every sparkle of his eyes. Did you feel the presence of God in his embrace?
Then he grew and suddenly he wanted to do things for himself. You likely marveled at his bright personality and his capacity to learn. I imagine that your heart beamed as he imitated the skills of his father and melted with joy when he took the time to rest for an extra moment in your arms. There must have been moments that you wondered if you were teaching him as much as he was teaching you.
Then he grew and suddenly he was gone – traveling to fulfill his mission in life. All the while, your love for your baby boy had been growing… sinking its roots into your willing heart.
Did your heart ache as you watched him go? Did you understand why? Did you get to see him teach? Heal the sick? Comfort the distressed? Speak to his Father? Did your heart fill with worry or joy as you saw him change the world?
Did you know what would bring him back to Jerusalem at the end?
I can imagine how it must have felt to watch the massive crowd of people watching your precious son with admiration – finally appreciating the son of God as he deserves. Feeling as though all of his life’s work has been accepted and praised… Spending those following days glowing with happiness as the world seemed to embrace your son.
Then watching as everything went horribly wrong.
I can imagine the pain you must have felt as you felt the tension in the crowd increase… Did you protest? Did you stand helpless as the anger buffeted you? Could he see you among them? Did you feel the evil gathering in that space?
Did you know your son would win?
Could you hear his screams as they beat him? Did you pray?
Did you hear Pilate’s answer? Or did you look quickly around at the crowd’s response to learn that your son was to die?
Did you crumple to the ground when you heard it?
Did you ask God to take you instead?
I can imagine you pushing your way through the crowd… Fighting against a mob of angry, apathetic people… Desperately trying to get to his side. Offer him some small comfort. Simply be his mother.
Did you cry when you saw him? Or did you try to put on a strong face for your son despite your breaking heart?
I can imagine the feeling of having to restrain yourself from embracing your own son… Knowing that to do so would only cause him immense pain.
Knowing that this would be your last chance to do so…
Did you follow him up the hill? Did you step in his bloody footprints?
Could you hear him cry out as they nailed him to the cross? Did you look at your own hands and imagine his tiny fingers grasping yours or his tiny feet walking toward you for the first time? Did you think of the first time he scraped his knee and cried?
I can imagine your eyes connecting… through the blood and dirt.
Did you know… right then… did you know what he was doing? Did it overwhelm you – the victory and its cost?
Were you grateful when his suffering was ended? Could you feel the ground tremble?
Did you feel the gravity of his sacrifice?
I cannot imagine the state of your heart as you held him… cradled him – that same fragile baby you once held.
Did you know that he was anything but helpless? Did you understand his choice? Did it feel as if your world was crashing down… as if hope was lost?
Or did you know that your baby had just saved us all?
Oh, Mary. How great your joy must have been that beautiful Easter morning…