He whispers to her

He goes before us.

In Him all things are held together. (Colossians 1:17)

Have you ever needed to be reminded that God goes before you, and, when you get there, you’ll need for Him to hold every moment together including you and those you love?

Good Friday this year was a pivotal moment in our family. I elected to watch The Passion to remember what God demonstrates over and over again in our lives–His love and grace. At the close of the movie and before a turn of events, I watched Mary’s expression as she held the crucified Jesus in her arms. The actress and director created a scene displaying a moment of agonizing pain. We know the end of the story, but Mary doesn’t. Sunday resurrection had not arrived for her. She had to trust, wait, and reconcile her human emotions.

“Hold this scene in your heart”, He whispers to my soul. It’s that scene that got me through the next 3 days. As I held my loved one in my arms, my anguish became worship. The depths of a mother’s love and the endless love of Christ poured into our moments of suffering.

This morning’s worship brought the remembrance of this time as we face another transition and time of letting go.

The passage is from the exchange of Jesus and John while Jesus was on the cross. He made provisions for His mother. He saw her and went before her, and held her together by asking John to be her son. John took Mary into his home and cared for her. Consider these questions offered by the study (linked above):

This can be a painful scene.  Are you able just to be present to it as Mary was? … As you stand next to her, do you sense what she is feeling? ….   

Is there anything you want to say to Mary?  

As you listen to the passage again now, see if you can focus on Christ Himself.  How does he look upon His mother and the disciple whom He loves?  What do you feel drawn to in Him?  

This scene, however difficult, is a scene of deep love.  Love affects us in a powerful way.  Turn to Christ or to Mary now, and speak to them about what this scene has sparked off in you, bringing today’s reflection to a gentle end in God.

How beautiful that Jesus came to us by the Holy Spirit and through Mary–the love of a mother. How beautiful that He knew the depths of a mother’s longing and provided even for His own earthly mother. He truly is in all things. Thank you Jesus for loving this mother’s heart. Thank you Jesus for loving all of us so intimately that you speak to each soul and whisper just what we need.

As you face this day, I pray you hear Him whisper to your heart.

Part 2

I kept pondering the many “faces of a mother”. Her surprised by joy face when she finds out she’s pregnant. Her exuberant, tired face at birth, achievements, and expressions of love. Her perplexed face during challenging years, and her longing/sad face when her children are hurting. Well, and, yes, we do have an angry face, don’t we? We are human. I also remember silly faces to make them smile and laugh.

All the faces and phases.

I took a walk and my oldest daughter sent this quote to me. She had no idea I was writing this. It was in draft form; I’m wondering if I want to publish it.

They’ll tell you that you’ll lose yourself in motherhood, but did they tell you to stop looking for her? It’s still you, just a few versions, reborn as a mother. She is coming to find you, so stand still for a moment.

As we face the days ahead, I will redefine and rebirth this “mother”. I’m sure there will be moments of joy and desperation; truth and grace; passion and lack; tears and laughter. I’m praying Ephesians 3: 16 -21…

I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Part 3

My beautiful daughter has shared her story openly today for the first time and her road to recovery. She has been diagnosed with an eating disorder and will be in a residential program to help her to heal. I’m proud of her beyond words. Her courage amazes me. Through all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Tomorrow we will begin our journey, together as a family, and individually.

Part 4

I wanted something hopeful for her to come home to. We are headed to Durham, NC. I asked her if she would like for me to plan a trip in anticipation of her being away from home. With tears in her eyes she asked, “Why would I want to be away from home after being away from home for so long?” I love that she finds our home to be a haven despite all the ups and downs of “this is us”. Home. I smiled and said that I would not plan anything until she was home and she could pick the time and place. My daddy used to sing the song “Back Home Again” by John Denver. He would compliment my mom on making our house a home. We were far from perfect growing up, but our home was “us”, and we love each other deeply. Singing your song today, Daddy.

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