Monday, 6 April 2015

Mary the Mother of Jesus

I love you, but I can’t look at you.
I can’t look at you, but I can’t leave you.
You are my child, my son, my own flesh, my...blood.
You are a part of me.
You will always be a part of me.
So how can I look upon your face
when your flesh is ripped to shreds
and your bones are on display?
Oh, the unspeakable ache!
This pain is worse than childbirth.
At least that pain had a purpose.
But is happening to you...
What’s the point?!
In pain I brought you into this world
and with a deeper pain still all I can do is watch
as you are ripped from it.
But I can’t watch.
I can’t look.
I love you, but I can’t look at you.

What is a mother to do?
Once I held you in my womb.
Once I held you in my hands.
But now, now you are beyond my grasp.
I cannot reach you.
You cry out in agony and I cannot comfort you.
I cannot cradle you in my arms and hold you close to my heart.
I cannot soothe you and speak tenderly to you.
What is a mother to do?
Abandon you?
Abandon you like everyone else?
They have all left.
All the so-called faithful have left.
You are betrayed.
There are only a few of us who have stayed.
They said I was blessed, but I must be cursed.
I thought I was blessed, but I must be cursed.
What a fool I was!
I was so foolish to be so faithful!
I was only a child then,
when the messenger came bearing the good news that I would bear a son.
How foolish I was to believe that I had found favour with God.
God, I trusted you! I trusted you!
But where are you now?!
Where are you now, O Mighty One?
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress (Ps 102).
Once you looked upon me with favour.
Will you ever look at me again?
Let your face shine on your servant,
save me in your unfailing love (Ps 31).
Save me.
Save your servant.
Save my son.
Save your son.
If you love me, will you not look at me?

You look at me.
You, my son, whom I love,
and in these moments before you die, you look at me.
With your dark and endearing eyes you comfort me.
In this darkening light you soothe me.
I am held in your gaze and my fear goes away.
With tender words
- with a genuine affection and a gut-wrenching ache -
you speak and console.
‘Dear women,’ you say, ‘here is your son.’
You speak of yourself and the one whom you love.
I love you.
I can’t help but look at you.
I lift my eyes and I wonder,
where does our help come from?
I wait, in hope, to see.
© Catherine Burton March 2015

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