“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:26-27
Every mother whose child may have preceded her in death could relate to the agony and pain experienced through the absence of the child to which she gave birth. Even Jesus took time from dying to acknowledge His mother. Two people who stood together, who were both precious to the Savior, now stand together. They were brought together by a circumstance beyond their control. The hell that Jesus suffered was the interval of separation from the Father. His adopted father, Joseph, had already departed this life and His Heavenly Father had turned His back to Him. His pain knew no boundaries. The Cross served as the convergence of physical and emotional pain, and Jesus’ examples sets the stage for some challenging questions: can you love through a broken heart? While bleeding, can you still see others through your tears?
It gives solace when the attempt is made to at least try to understand that clichés and quips are not sufficient. Jesus demonstrated in His dying moments on the Cross what we need in the darkest valley of dismay. He was not delivered from His present circumstances, and they were not delivered from the arrows piercing their own hearts. Much to the chagrin of many, time alone does not heal all wounds. When Jacob wrestled with the angel of God, he was left with a limp. Moreover, the infirmities of Paul remained even though many were healed through his ministry. God can use wounded people, even hurting people, as instruments of healing others who are wounded and still hurting. Yet His love transcended His pain, and He was more concerned with His two most favored people than He was Himself. His words joined them together into a familial bond and His best friend to Him was a part of His family. Now a mother needed a son to nurture, and fortunately, her passion was not interrupted by the piercing of her son’s side and of her heart. Jesus was saying to her, “Look at My friend as your new son.” And to John, “Look at My mother as your own mother.” What a consolation to them through their newfound assignment…The tragedy of His death could not paralyze them from engaging in any future activity. John had a mother to care for and Mary had a son to love, and through this connection, they were not allowed the opportunity to be too preoccupied with their own pain.
Many during this season of life merely reflect upon the death of what is missing rather than what remains. God gives gifts to those who lose love ones. The love remains as a line attached to them in memory. Jesus did not forget His mother, and neither did He forget His friend. Along with the line of memory was an attachment to a person that remained alive. He challenged both His friend and His mother to allow the love they had for Him to reach the people that He loved. To sulk in pity or to glory in piety is not enough. It is our duty to love a child who needs a parent or a parent that needs a child. If you were ever a mother, you are still a mother whether your child is with you are not. If you are a child, God will give you mothers and fathers who are there to compensate for any deficiency that you may experience. This Mother’s Day behold thy mother; and mothers, behold your many children!