There was dead silence in the room as she spoke about getting down on her hands and knees cleaning up the child’s blood off the cold concrete leading into the home. The bloody trail of death. She didn’t know how to console this Mama whose child had died the day before in a tragic accident right there in the family’s driveway.
This angel, she stood before an audience filled with Christ sisters that day and cried. ‘I didn’t know what to do so I cried and prayed and I cleaned up the blood,’ she said. ‘Because no Mother should have to see her child’s blood stains. And there I was on my knees and I thought about my three children and how they should see their own Mama more on her knees in prayer.’
I clung to this story for hours after she left the stage. And in the days to come, more stories. The Mama whose child’s grave was tiny. And other Mamas whose children’s graves were fresh and soft and new.
And I thought about Mary and the bloody ground at Golgotha.
Did the Mother of Jesus, Mary slip away from friends and family and with slow and trembling steps walk back to Calvary the day after she watched her Son take His last breath here on earth?
Did she fall to her knees grabbing what blood-stained earth her wrinkled hands could hold?
Did she find the blood stained wooded cross and try to wipe away the death, the hurt?
Mary was His mother. And no doubt she did as all Mamas do. She carried Him on her hip when He was a toddler. She kissed His skinned knees when He fell. And she rocked Him when He cried. She washed His dirty little face and held Him close. And on many nights when she couldn’t sleep I’m sure she just sat in awe beside His bed and watched His little chest move up and down as He slept. As us Mamas do. She was His Mama in every way.
But she was warned–warned of the hurt to come. But could she have ever imagined His sacrifice being this horrific? Or His love this large?
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Luke 2:34-35
And He saw His Mother standing by His cross.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, who He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith He to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. John 19:25-27.
He loved her and before He took His last breath, He made sure she would be in good care. This Mama of His.
And I think about this angel Mama cleaning up another woman’s child’s blood, serving as Jesus served. And loving like Jesus loved.
And I think about Holy Week and His mother Mary and Jesus’ sacrifice.
And I think about the many blessings of being a Mama and Granna. The privilege of prayer. And the privilege of serving.
And I think about our world–broken and cruel and the desperate need for all of us Mamas and Mothers and Moms and Grannas and Nanas and Mamaws and Grandmas to be more on our prayer knees for our children and grandchildren.