Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mary, Mary

Easter is coming. And we are going to get together with our children to remember and to celebrate this highest of holy holidays. We will be together as a family, but this Easter I'm seeing things from a different perspective.

A few weeks ago, I was Mary the mother of Jesus. During the past few weeks of Lent, each Sunday different people did a monologue from the point of view of some of the main characters in the Easter Story. Judas one week, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Mary the mother of Jesus and Peter. I did the monologue for Mary. It was a full page of text and it seemed daunting. I can barely remember a phone number or my grocery list and now I was going to recite an entire page in front of our congregation? I felt my responsibility keenly and went over and over this monologue, memorizing it piece by piece, reciting it in my mind when I went on walks, when I was baking, cleaning house and then I finally felt I had a handle on them.

The monologue deals with Mary calling God to account for letting her son die this horrible death. And Mary then thinks back over her life with her son, puzzling over the fact that the God who sent an angel to tell her the news of her son's birth, who blessed Elizabeth with a child after years of barrenness, who sent angels to shepherds, sent wise men to worship her son, who gave her a son who was such a blessing - could stand by and watch her son die.

I wanted this to be meaningful and as I recited the words, stumbling over mistakes and starting over again, I prayed. Prayed that they words would become meaningful to me and to my audience. Then, slowly, as the words became a part of me I saw Mary from another light. This was a woman who had to watch her son die a horrible death. A woman who had heard her son cry out to God in anguish and had received nothing in response. A woman who wondered how the God who had given her this blessed son, who had given her such joy could take that son away so cold, hard and cruelly. She didn't know how the story ended. On Good Friday, she only knew that she had lost her son. I never fully appreciated the sorry and anguish she faced until I did that monologue and became Mary, if only for a few moments. And as I spoke her words of sorrow, imagining my own son up there on the cross, they became the words of any mother who has lost her son.

We of this time and age, know how the story ended and, after a few days, so did Mary. And over time, she also came to realize how necessary this death was and what was accomplished with it. The victory and the power of it.

However, I know that there are many mothers out there, this Easter season, whose sons are not home. Who will not be celebrating, but who will be grieving the loss of a son as hard as Mary grieved the loss of hers. For these mothers and parents, the story is ongoing and the sorrow will fade but always be there. The victory is not as easily seen and the reason is not always understood.

This Easter season I want to remember those mothers who have lost sons and daughters. Family's who are missing someone around their table and I pray that they may find comfort in the knowledge that Jesus promises us so much more than this world can offer. And that though it may be Friday now, Sunday is coming!


Pamela Tracy said...

I'm wishing we could add voice to this blog so I could 'hear' the monologue. Sounds powerful.

Stephanie Newton said...

What a beautiful post, Carolyne. Thanks for reminding us one of the joys of an Easter faith.


Ramona Richards said...

Beautiful! And a powerful reminder that we don't always understand what God is calling us to endure and survive, only that He is the one doing the calling. Trusting is never easy - just necessary.

Pat Davids said...

What a beautiful, powerful message you have shared today. Bless you for giving voice to mothers everywhere that have lost a child. I shall remember your words always.
It is Friday now, but Sunday is coming.