Monday, February 7, 2011

Mother Mary

I felt completely helpless that second night after Giovanni's surgery. As I held him and looked at his sweet face, I knew everything that could be done, had been done. There was nothing else but to breathe and pray, moment to excruciating moment. My heart was broken for my son and all that he had endured and would have to continue to endure, and I had no idea what would happen next.

The screams of the grieving mother in the hospital courtyard earlier in the day continued to haunt me. I couldn't imagine her pain; I didn't want to. I wept for her. I felt no pride in that my son was still alive. Instead, a deep, humbling knowledge of the frailty of life pierced my mind, and the anguish of it crushed my heart.

I knew I was unworthy, but I begged Him for my son's life. I confessed every fear to Him, every sin, every failing, and I pleaded with Him to have mercy. And then the crucifixion came to my mind.

I saw Jesus, my innocent Savior, hanging on the rough wood, tortured and in agony, blood seeping from his many wounds. I saw the nails in His hands and feet which were so bruised and torn. I saw the crown of thorns, digging into his skull. I saw His face. Then I saw His Mother below Him, weeping.

I remembered that He was once a chubby baby boy, with soft pudgy hands and tender little toes. I thought of His Mother kissing His infant face, rocking Him, and nursing Him. She loved Him every bit as much as I loved my son, perhaps she loved Him even more. I couldn't imagine the horror that she must have felt watching her baby boy being so abused and so hated when He had done nothing wrong.

Her faithfulness in all her pain gave me strength to finally tell God that He could take my son, if He needed to. I told Him that if Giovanni died, I would scream and be wretched, but I needed God too much to leave Him. I begged Him to keep me from sinning against Him, to help me be faithful, no matter what happened next. I confessed my ignorance and insufficiency. I could demand nothing of Him because He had given me so much. Even if He took my son, He was still so much greater than anything my mind could hold.

His Mother's face and the agony she felt in her innocent heart weighed in on me, again. So with all the boldness of a desperate mother, I prayed, "You can have my son, but please Jesus, remember Your Mother's heart and how much pain she felt when she watched You suffer."

I shuddered and wept a little more, but then this magnificent peace broke through. Fear and worry slipped away, and all I felt was His love. There were no inklings that Giovanni would be okay, I only knew God loved us. And a sweet sleep, for the first time since we arrived at the hospital, came over my little boy and me.

© 2009-2015 Emily Woodham

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