It seems like evil men have wanted to put their hands on you since the day you were born. My son, do you remember when we rushed you to Egypt to save your innocent life? You were so small and helpless. They still wanted you dead. Why? I did not understand, or perhaps I did, but I remained silent. I contemplated what the angel told me that day. Oh, what a day that was my son! The day I was told God had chosen me. He had chosen me, out of all the women, to be your mother. To hold your hand and guide your steps as you walked. Now, a ruthless soldier pulls your hand and forces your steps.
My tears flood my face as I see you fall under the weight of the cross. I remember when you took your first steps and you reached for me, only to fall to the ground. Your father and I stood you up and you continued your way. Many times, you fell. Many times, we stood you up. Now, I cannot get near you to stand you. The hands of evil men strike you, voices of hatred shout at you, and feet of the devil kick you, demanding you to stand on your own. I wish I could reach out and stand you once again. But I can’t. So, I remain silent, and hold it in my heart. I hold you in my heart my son.
Speaking of my heart my dear child, I think of Simeon. The words he spoke that day I did not fully understand but held them dear. I sought understanding from the Lord, while I remained silent. “And you yourself a sword will pierce.” Oh, all the many thoughts I imagined this could speak about, but now I know. Now I know the pain of such a brutal sword. The pain of the sword of death. The sword of sacrifice. The sword of suffering. I know you must be obedient. As the whips came down time and time again on your back, the sword pierced a little deeper in my heart.
As I saw the blood gushing from your wounds, I remember the times you would bleed from helping Joseph with his carpentry work. How I longed to care for your wounds now as I did then. Suddenly, I heard it, my son. I heard your voice. Your weak, beaten, and hurting voice.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”
My knees get weak as I remember your first words. The first words you spoke. How loving your voice was and how compassionate even as a child. Now, facing brutality indescribable, your voice, although wounded and weak, still full of compassion and love. You call them “daughters of Jerusalem,” but you call me “mother.” They call you “criminal”, “Lord”, “Messiah”, and “King”. I call you “son”.
I want to turn away so desperately. I want to ignore the pain, the screaming, the hatred, and the torture. I have never turned away from you my dear one and, when you need me the most, I will not turn away now. How many times have I heard you forgive others? I want to hate those who hate you, but I can’t. I don’t. I love them because you love them. I have pity on them because you have pity on them.
The world seems to be darkening. With each nail driven through your flesh, it seems the world darkens a bit more. My tears fall and water the earth beneath me, but they are not tears of despair. These are your mother’s tears of love. These are the tears shed as the life I bore in that Bethlehem cave is now bearing new life for the entire world on a hilltop. The tears of joy flowing down my cheeks in Bethlehem have now turned to tears of a mother’s shattered heart. Yet, I remain silent. I ponder how all of this will end. I trust you, my son. I love you.
I recall the day I lost Joseph. Oh, how the pain almost seemed unbearable. But this pain, my child, is something greater. It’s something deeper. It’s something my voice cannot describe. As my thoughts were on you, suddenly I hear your voice. You were the center of my thoughts and my love, yet you were concerned about me.
“Woman, behold, your son.”
My gaze met the eyes of beloved John. The pain seemed to shatter to the depths of his soul. It showed in his face, his body, and his eyes. I understand.
My mission has changed. I am no longer just your mother. I am their mother. Yes, my son, I will care for them as I have cared for you. I will love them as I have loved you.
Suddenly, your breath is gone and even the earth mourns. To those around me, their Lord was dead. To me, my son was dead.
But I wait, my child. I will wait for you, and I will teach them to wait as well.