Comfort the vulnerable – Reflection on words of the cross in terms of child loss
I had a weird feeling the Sunday evening before Elliot passed away. I sang songs that I don’t usually sing for him. Two songs about heaven including a famous Sunday school song “Soon and very soon we are going to see the king“…
I don’t think I knew the magnitude of the pain that was yet to come. Not when I sang those songs to my darling Elliot who was happily kicking in my womb.
No, Not until my world stopped spinning when we heard the dreadful news. Not until I gave birth to him.
Not until I kissed my baby Elliot to say a final goodbye.
And not until I witnessed my baby Elliot being carried in a coffin and buried in the grave.
As I stood helpless in pain, guilt, and anger that I cannot fix what was happening to my son. When reality hit me that I have to live in a world where my son wouldn’t live.
When the new fresh wave of grief hits me every single day, I relate to one of the side characters in the Easter story. Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Jesus knew. Didn’t he?
The scripture says It was foreshadowed to Mary that one day she should give him up. I don’t think she knew the magnitude of pain that she had to go through until she stood at the cross. And when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby and grieving at the cross,
He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19: 26 & 27.
Why does Jesus have to take time in his suffering to utter these words?
Jesus knew the pain. Didn’t he? Jesus knew that it breaks her heart to see her son hung upon the cross.
He knew. Didn’t he. He knew that Mary would go through the pain, suffering, and heartache.
Jesus knew. Didn’t he? That she will have to live after witnessing the agony, pain and the suffering that he has to go through.
Jesus knew. Didn’t he? Mary stood helpless knowing that she cannot do anything to fix it but to suffer alongside the cross.
Jesus knew. Didn’t he? She cannot forget the heartache and the pain. Not only this good Friday but every single good Friday that Mary will still be grieving.
Jesus knew. Didn’t he. He knew many women just like Mary have to say goodbye to their sons and daughters while they are still alive.
Jesus knew the pain. Didn’t he? He knew the heart of his grieving mother.
Are you the one?
As I look upon the cross today it reminds me of the pain and suffering of Mary. I am reminded of the words Jesus uttered. As I write this, I am reminded that women like Mary who are saying goodbye to their babies gone too soon. Be it a week or month or months in their womb. Be it a week or month or months after they are born. It hurts for them to live in the world without their sons and daughters.
The scripture says that Mary knew that the Easter day was coming. But that did not stop Jesus from telling John to comfort her in the pain and the suffering. Not to fix the pain but to be there for her.
Comforting the vulnerable is not easy. It means
- To begin that uncomfortable conversation,
- To weep alongside the mother who is weeping.
- To suffer alongside the mother who is suffering.
- To protect her from the guilt and shame that society will impose on her after the loss.
- And to provide proper physical and mental support that she will need.
Jesus is looking for that beloved disciple to comfort Mary while he is fulfilling God’s purpose.
Will you be the one, who will protect the vulnerable?
Meditation inspired by
As I was meditating on the scripture I stumbled upon this beautiful poem by Whitney, https://www.facebook.com/trainsandtantrums/photos/a.588746068238989/894480227665570/?type=3&theater.
What a beautiful confirmation!