The Faith of a Mother
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1: 16-17
I can’t imagine how she must have felt standing there watching him die surrounded by the anger of the crowds, the greed of the soldiers, the arrogance of the priests, and the betrayal of his friends.
She had been with him from the beginning. She was his greatest cheerleader. From the start she quietly assembled a treasure box of all things he had done. Like a Rubbermaid box filled with a lifetime of homemade Mother’s Day cards and tiny hand print pictures, her heart stored every memory of the Son God had given her. And now it was the end. Not her end, which is the natural order of things, but His.
So, she stood watching him be humiliated, dehumanized, ridiculed, and killed. She didn’t yell at the crowds or guards to stop. She didn’t tell Him to get down from there. She stood still. Silent. Vulnerable. Hurting. Quietly weeping as He fulfilled His calling. Over the last 33 years, she had grown to accept the fact that He did not belong to her. He belonged to God and His life was meant for a greater purpose, even if it meant breaking her heart. She knew He had to die, but she wasn’t going to let him do it alone. So, she stood like a mother sitting in the stands hands clasped, separated from the one she loves, watching the final minutes of the championship game tick by praying for a miracle.
Women are strong. We have a fortitude that goes beyond our stature. I guess we have to be that way in order to bring life into this world. But even with our great inner resilience, we are weak in our hearts and emotions. Our love for our tribe makes us vulnerable. And, sometimes this vulnerability keeps us from letting those we love to be who God has called them to be. Mary didn’t always get it right (the desperate plea for wine at the wedding in order to keep up appearances), but she did in the end. She never wavered in her support of Jesus and His mission in bringing salvation to all mankind.
On this Good Friday, I am grateful for Mary. His sacrifice is her sacrifice. Her faith produces my faith. As a mom, I want what is best for my children. I want to protect them and keep them safe. I don’t want them to struggle or get hurt. I want them to be successful and flourish in this life. But more importantly, I want to follow Mary’s example of relinquishing her heart to God so that His “righteousness can be revealed from faith for faith” (1:17). I want to cheer my children and others on as they walk the path of faith set before them “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (1:12).
Life is hard and faith comes at a cost. Let’s encourage each other this Easter with the Good News of Jesus because it took a lot for His earthly mother to give Him up.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.