A year has passed since my son died. Yet, today I am truthfully glad that he did.
Oh, mine has been a life of unbelievable contrasts. I have gone from doubt to belief as readily as gray skies to blue. I was but a girl when I learned that I would be the mother of God with skin. He would be born in such a humble way that I began to doubt if indeed this wriggling infant was the promised Child. “Yet”, my spirit argued, “how could it be otherwise you have never been with a man. This child is indeed a miracle”.
Then there were the shepherds who visited and described their own angelic visit and my mind confirmed what my spirit had been saying–this child was God’s Son.
I would have other children and the task of being mother to my brood made the miraculous far too untouchable. I had noses to wipe and spills to clean up and squabbles to settle.
Passover would come and Jesus would attend with Joseph and me. We were on our way home when I had one of those moments not completely unknown to mothers. I suddenly knew, without knowing how, that Jesus was not among the caravan. A quick search confirmed my suspicions and Joseph and I left our friends and ventured back to Jerusalem to find the boy.
We searched the city. Retracing our steps in each and every place and then I recognized his voice. Yet, it was different somehow. This voice was the voice of a child, yet the words were filled with the wisdom of a lifetime.
We found him sitting with the priests and HE was teaching THEM.
He wasn’t looking at me as I spoke, “Son,” I said, “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
The boy looked at me very puzzled and replied, “Why did you search? You should have known I would be in my Father’s house.”
Those words stung Joseph because he was only too aware that this child was not his, yet my husband’s arms were always outstretched for my son. For me, I was suddenly whisked back to a time when the truth of this child was made plain to me. Why must I be plagued with such forgetfulness?
Once, my son and I were at a wedding together. The host had not adequately prepared for the number of guests and the wine had run out. I visited the treasure house of my mind and revisited the little daily miracles that were a part of my son’s life and I made Jesus aware of the problem, “How does this concern you and me? My time has not yet come.”
I know I should have let the matter rest, but I looked into his eyes and then said to the servants gathered that they should do whatever my son asked of them.
On that day people began to take notice of my son. It wasn’t long before Jesus had gathered quite a crowd of followers–twelve who were very close to him.
My son was going to be king. My other sons were very intent on helping to see that Jesus came to sit in his rightful place. Once when public tension was reigning supreme over Jesus, my children and I went to visit him and subtly tried to get him to come home and let the tension die so hopes of a kingdom on earth could be realized.
His rebuke was as biting as the day I had found him in the temple teaching the priests. Jesus had long since come into his own and I was a meddling mother. I can say that with no anger, because of what happened one year ago.
I first understood that the man I beheld was my son when they led him to the top of that wretched hill. How many times I had stroked his brow in tender moments of rest, how many times I had held his hands as we recounted stories of God faithfulness, how many times I had to hold his feet when he was measured for new sandals.
Yet, now this same brow was punctured with thorns, these same hands tense with the pain of metal spikes, these feet that spread such hope held tightly to rough timber and this man held no resemblance to the boy I once knew–except for his eyes.
Oh, to be able to hold him, like I did as a child and sooth away the difficulties with a mother’s touch. To gaze at him lovingly and let him know that everything would be all right.
Who can fathom the mind of God. I stood on the side of a rain drenched hill. My son’s life blood running down his face, hands and feet. A small, steady stream passed by my feet and my tears joined the rain and his shed blood as the crowd looked on.
Jesus must have known that I was filled with so many emotions. Remembering when he first grasped my finger as an infant, when he received gifts from the eastern kings, when he baffled the priests with his wisdom.
He turned and with those precious eyes looked at me. One of his disciples was standing beside me when my son charged him with my care, “Behold your mother–behold your son.” In those words and in that look, my son was reassuring me that he loved me and everything would be all right.
When my son uttered his last words, I remember an ache so deep I felt as if breath would be nothing more than a memory for me. Sobs left my throat raw and eyes puffy. How could my son–God’s Son–be murdered in such an inexcusable way.
For three days, I wept. For three days, I wrestled with the fear that indeed God Himself had been cast down and our lives would forever be separated from Him. The city was filled with mayhem. The temple curtains were torn in two, there were earthquakes, fear had taken control of us.
Then day three. Oh, this was the day I began to see with new eyes.
So many thought that Jesus was to be the new king, that he would reign on earth and his greatness would surpass that of the highly favored king, David. Yet, Jesus had been trying to tell us all along that this was not his destiny. That he would reign as King of kings and Lord of lords in heaven–and in willing men’s hearts.
This was a new day, and a new relationship with God was made available when my son–God’s Son–willingly accepted death to establish a sacrifice that was not only pleasing to God, but was the only way that my son’s Father would be able to cleanse the sin in each of our lives–that includes mine.
Oh, but I get ahead of myself. On day three, my son, Jesus walked out of that tomb, whole and well. His sacrifice had been accepted and he was free to once again commune with His Father—who indeed was well pleased.
They tell me of the scars. All I know is that I was favored above all women to bring God with skin into this world. And I ponder once again the treasures of my heart and discover that Jesus was so much more than I ever expected. God surprised all of us. Jesus was never what we expected—but everything we needed.
By Glenn Hascall