I’ve been reflecting quite a bit during this holiday season on the core belief of Christianity: the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of all men. I know this is what I am supposed to believe, but truth be told, I believe the sacrifice of his mother to be greater. We know the man Jesus existed. Beyond that, we’re going on faith. As Christians, we believe that his mother knew the sacrifice he would have to make and accepted this fate.
I can’t imagine holding my newborn child, looking into his perfect face, and knowing what is in store for him — not knowing when. I don’t want to imagine being there at the foot of the cross, internally pleading with a merciful God to put me on the cross instead, to want to ease my child’s agony and being able to do nothing. Even knowing why, I would still beg to take his place.
I wasn’t able to have my son for Christmas this year. The custody order was violated yet again. My friends have been superb with keeping me merry during the holidays, but the reality of having a son wrenched from your arms hit home hard as I watched a little boy lie down, his head on his mother’s lap, her hand stroking his hair, in front of me in church on Sunday. I ugly cried. I ugly cried for me, for my son, for every mother who has suffered loss or separation.
Yet at the same time, I’ve never been happier in my life. The gratitude is overwhelming. The love and support pouring in from all angles has buoyed me up through so much heartbreak and the constant battering of life punches. The temporary setback of a Christmas without my beautiful boy is just temporary. Soon enough, he’ll be snuggling at my side, begging to read his favorite story “all by mine self” and to go to Red Circle and the playground.
Patience is a harsh lesson, but a beautiful thing to own.