“A Mother’s immeasurable love for a child she couldn’t save.”
The headline jumped off the screen. The dateline was Dallas. May 11, 2013. The journalist Steve Hartman wrote:
“Beyond the biological mandate, there’s something about mothering that defies science and borders on the divine — something especially palpable in this mom from Keller, Texas, named Brenda Gorman.”
He tells about Brenda and her husband Gary who decided to adopt a four-year orphan girl, Zia, from the Congo. All was going well until the Agency called with the bad news that Zia had a rare and fatal heart defect. Then they asked Brenda, “Do you still want her?”
Brenda recounts that she was “ silent the longest time.” Then replied, “Are you kidding me? She’s our baby. She’s our baby.’ She was our baby the moment we looked at her.”
Hartman told about the Gorman’s getting Zia. Going to the Children’s MedicalCenter. Of efforts to save her life. But to no avail. Zia died in just 33 days. At the memorial service Brenda said she had “no regrets.” Then adds these striking words:
“I’m thankful for 33 days,” she said, crying. “And given a choice between no time or 33 days, I’ll take the 33 days every time. Rip my heart out every time.”
There was another mother who couldn’t save her son either. Her name was Mary. The mother of Jesus. She had him for 33 years, but now had come His divine appointment with death.
And there Mary stood. At the foot of the cross. Jesus’ closest friends had fled. Peter had denied. Judas betrayed. All the rest ran to save their own skin. But not Mary. Not his mother.
There Mary stood. Her eyes filled with tears. Her heart breaking. Her mind racing. What memories! And then her thoughts are interrupted by Jesus words, “Woman behold your son.”
Her son. What is she thinking?
No doubt she recalls as a frightened young virgin seeing the angel, Gabriel and hearing him say, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”
So much has happened in the past 33 years. The long journey to Bethlehem. The baby born in a manger. The Shepherds visit. The prophecies of Simeon and Anna. The Wise men’s gifts. The Flight to Egypt. Their home in Nazareth. Her lost Son in Jerusalem. Learning the carpenter’s trade.
And then the beginning of His ministry. For three-and-a-half years she saw her son gather a band of disciples. Develop a following. Rise in popularity. Confound the teachers of the law. Heal the sick. Control nature. Cast out demons. Teach truth.
Then she saw his popularity decline. The hatred began. Murderous plots devised. Lies told. Traps sets. Yet, through it all, her Son remained calm. Focused. Purpose-driven. And sinless.
Now after a whirl-wind week. The triumphal entry in Jerusalem. A final week of teaching. And the kangaroo court of trial. Her Son, condemned to die, is hanging on a cross. Maybe Mary didn’t quite understand it all. But she could love. In fact, no one could love a Son more.
It’s Friday. He’s dying. And Mary can’t save him. But Sunday’s coming! In three days her aching heart will rejoice. Her sadness will be turned to gladness. Her Son will live. Never to die.
And the woman who couldn’t save her Son from a torturous physical death, will now be saved from spiritual death by Him!
Mary’s face at the foot of the cross, not only speaks to a mother’s love. But her faithfulness. Fidelity. And virtue. It reminds us that God can use a humble, obscure maiden to fulfill His purpose. And seeing her standing there speaks to her courage. Conviction. And commitment.
When we suffer loss. Hurt. Pain. Agony. See the face of Mary looking up at her Son. And remember, “It may be Friday. But Sunday’s coming!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman