Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The 5th Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

photo by Jim Forest / flickr
"Did Mary make a birthday cake
For Christ when he was small,
And think the while she frosted it,
How quickly boys grow tall?

Oh sometimes years are very long
And sometimes years run fast,
And when the Christ had put away
Small, earthly things at last,

And died upon a wooden cross
One afternoon in spring,
Did Mary find the little toy,
And sit...remembering?"
    --Helen Welshimer,  "The Birthday"   

It was a long, circuitous trail
to that hill where it would happen. 

He could not have made it--
even though he was the Lord, 
the expected one, Unless somebody
had stood by caring and loving.

Simon had helped. And there would 
be a handful of others--mostly women-- 
who would be more than faces 
in the crowd.

In the early days there were a multitude 
of Stations Yet the church kept 
this fifth station when they pared them down.

Wonder why? Who knows-- but 
standing close by as he staggered-- 
he looked up and saw her: his Mother.

She had loved him from that first scary day 
the angel had come  and brought the news.

When he stirred in her stomach--
it was scary, too like that day the angel had come.
And yet--she loved the one she had yet to see.

And when he came after that long, long ride
to Bethlehem--and he really was there--
lying in a manger--she was so proud.

She did the best she could--this mother.
Most babies then did not last--disease and
ignorance took  them.

Not Jesus. She tended, she cared, she did 
what good mothers do.

And then he was gone beyond her reach. 

Yet he knew that he could not have done 
all the wondrous things he did--
without that wounded face he saw
in the crowd.

She did what she had always done 
from that very first day.

She helped him make it.
One wonders if he could have dragged 
that heavy cross up, up that hill
without this mother's face.

One of the last words from the cross 
would be the word: "Mother..."
He wanted her tended to as she had 
tended him.

Standing at this Station do you think of 
another Mother--your own.
Not all mothers have something to give--
but most do all they can.

And looking up--we know 
we could not make our own winding journeys
without that word: Mother.

Looking up I can still see my mother's face. 
Can you see yours too?

photo by Eric Parker / flickr

--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com

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