Friday, February 22, 2013

We Walk with Christ: Fourth Station

Perhaps the most poignant station of all. 
An injured, bleeding child approaches his mother.
The mother sees her child rejected and shunned by others. We see her eyes.  We know those eyes. They are the eyes of a mother...the windows of the heart.
A thousand mothers...nay, ten thousand times ten mothers...have echoed the same picture. 
Our child runs to us with a tearful face.
Our child's rigid hand catches his fall off his bicycle and a shattered stone cuts into his tender palm.
Our teenager paces restlessly through the house, searching...wanting to approach and not wanting to approach.
Our little princess' eyes well-up with tears because of the gossip and cattiness of others.
We kissed the tear-stained cheek.
We clean and bandage the cut.
We offer a sympathetic smile to the teenager and perhaps finger a lock of hair off the worried brow.
We hug the little girl who too soon turns into a little lady and we give her our undivided attention.
We would rather take their suffering upon our own shoulders than see our child in pain.
At some point today, a child has approached you.  How did you receive Jesus in that child? 
Did you turn, as Mary did, to your child and cup his chin in the palm of your hand?
Did you lean towards him and give a listening smile?
Did you crease the chocolate-smudged cheek? 
Did you look into your child's eyes with such intensity that you could see her soul and count her heartbeats? 
Did you nurse a sick child today? Did you pray over a hurting child today?
Did you listen?  Did you really, really, really listen to him speak?  Did you block out the other noises within your world and listen to the heart that you gave him?
Did you look at her?  Did you really, really, really look at her and realize that in one brief instant, she could be taken away from you?
Did you think about the child who is lost to you, in any number of ways that children can be lost to their parents: death, kidnapping, drugs, unfavorable companions?  These children might not be in your arms right now, but they are in Mary's arms.  She receives them just as she received her son Jesus on His walk to Calvary.  She holds your child in her arms now.
Entrust your child to Mary.  She will bring him to her Son.
Now you must leave that child, knowing he is in the most caring, loving arms (besides your own).  You must let go of that little hand and shoulder your cross a little more bravely to follow Christ the remainder of the way up that long winding hill towards salvation.
We do not like the walk.  We do not desire the walk. We do not welcome the walk. 
But we walk...
It is a path that only mothers know and that only mothers can walk. 
We are thankful that Mary walked it before us.  We have learned how to walk the path because of her example and her grace.

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