A sword in your soul

Luke 2: 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul also."

Being the mother of Christ was a tough assignment for Mary. She was required to face the shame of pregnancy outside of marriage, risking not only innuendo and gossip, but a real threat to her life. She nearly lost Joseph, but for angelic intervention. She faced the birth of her first child away from her family circle in an unhygienic animal shed. But of course, more sorrows were to come:

Mark 3: 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." ....31Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."
33 "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

Mary must have been worried sick when Jesus left the carpentry shed behind to begin an itinerant ministry... a ministry that proved highly unpopular (if not scandalous) with many of the religious leaders of Israel. She must have heard the rumours of plots to have him killed. So worried was she (and her sons) about the strange teachings and activities of Jesus, they became seriously concerned about his mental stability. Their concerns were probably only confirmed by Jesus' virtual rejection of his own family in the passage quoted above.

But worse was to come. Watching one's own child be tortured, crucified, and murdered unjustly must be the most unbearable "sword" of all to pierce the soul of a mother.

Simeon's prophesy continues to echo through the ages into the soul of every mother. We will probably never suffer as Mary suffered: but every mother does suffer with and for their children. A sword pierces our souls also. We care for our children so deeply that we share their pain and worry for their futures.

It is 4.30 in the morning, but it's hard to sleep... the sword is twisting in my soul tonight. It is part of the territory of motherhood.

Somehow one must grope one's way to surrender: knowing our children are God's children. Leaving them in God's hands. Trusting that God can hold on to our children through their life journeys. That in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. That God hears the prayers of mothers. Trusting that God can ultimately lead our children to a heavenly home.

Does a sword pierce your soul sometimes too? What concerns you... and how do you find comfort?


AbiSomeone said…
Part of the Purple Martyrdom for the Abbess, I'm afraid! Three little boys in a society gone mad... :^(
Janet Woodlock said…
Well, we both must be up! (A civilized hour where you live I imagine!)

Thank you for visiting... I've been "netsurfing" little and writing less lately... partly because one of my own darling boys has sent me way over my internet quota playing Neopets (time for a new internet plan... I need more megabites per month!)

Not that I lose sleep over Neopets...

Anyway, I'm lashing out and surfing... and I've really enjoyed reading your site tonight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love to you.


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