Mother to Mother…Then and now
At this Easter time, my thoughts have been with Mary and her walk with her Son. I’m a Mum to a very special boy, too. I started thinking about putting myself in Mary’s shoes, not as a story in a book, but actually into her shoes, and walk through the Easter story as a Mother, thinking about how she must have felt.
Imagine… she had a tough time being pregnant, as we know from the Christmas story. She was not married and afraid, these were unforgiving times. If you have a baby and are not married today, to be honest with you, that is often the norm. Back in biblical times this was forbidden. Right from the beginning she was carrying not only God in human form, but the weight of the world plus a load of fear. Imagine the birth, in a stable! We have all these lovely concepts at Christmas time of the stable on cards, tree ornaments etc, but imagine actually giving birth to a child surrounded by animals in a dirty barn. It’s a far cry from a hospital birth or even a home birth. I can’t imagine how frightening that must have been for her. There is little documentation about the actual birth process, but we all know that, even in comfortable surroundings, this is not a comfortable experience. Being a new Mum is hard. Can you imagine breastfeeding and changing nappies in similar circumstances?
Even from the start I admire her. Yes, He was perfection but also a Baby, just the same as any other that required raising.
We get a glimpse of normality when Jesus goes missing and is found in the temple. Have you ever lost sight of your child? Your heart starts to race and you get frantic. This is depicted in this part of the bible…
Luke 2:41-52 New International Version (NIV)
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When He was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking He was in their company, they travelled on for a day. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. 46 After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what He was saying to them.
51 Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Moving on to the Easter story, did you know that Mary stayed with Jesus through the entirety of the Crucifixion and everything that happened prior to it?
Mary was there when they flogged Jesus, when they spat at Him and mocked Him. Mary was there when the stripped Him and placed a crown of thorns on His head. I know we all know the images, but have you ever pricked your finger on a single thorn, it doesn’t half hurt! Imagine loads piercing your forehead with agonising stinging, and no reprieve. Even writing this I have tears in my eyes.
Mary was there as the crowds that once admired and followed her son chanted for His death in place of a criminal called Barabbas. Mary was there as they drove nails into her Son’s hands and feet, and hung Him from a cross when He had done nothing wrong. The ultimate price was being paid for everyone else, and her Son was paying it in full. I just had to take a break whilst writing this as it is so upsetting walking in Marys shoes. I find her inspiring and instrumental to my faith. I am not a Roman Catholic but she is probably my most admired person in the Bible, after Jesus, of course.
Can you imagine the amount of faith she must have had right from the start, but especially through to the end and the crucifixion? Everything within me wants to protect my son, that is part of being a Mother, and she must have had to fight every natural instinct within herself to restrain herself and simply look on. Not only is she an amazing Mother and someone I look up to, she is also an amazing Christian example. She must have had to REALLY believe, in order to walk through that with her Baby Boy! Do you?