Imagine a big ball of yarn, make it multi-colored or one color – your choice. Now imagine you are watching a cat (not one of the Big Cats from Tiger King…but an ordinary cat or kitten) chase the ball of yarn around and untangling it so your ball of yarn becomes more like a tangled mess.
That’s me this week.
My emotions are all over the place. The day we were moved from the step-down unit was a beautiful, sweet day but it was also a day where we said goodbye to people who had become like family. A day I wondered, will I get to them again? They loved and cared for my son so deeply. The amount of empathy and compassion that the Cardiac ICU nurses have is special; I think we could all learn from them. One day I watched one of the nurses, bounce Townes for 45 minutes to get him to settle and bring his heart rate down. I watched another bring him little “happies” from their donations closet and often sit him up to work on his strength and coo at him. I watched little things like that happen day in and day out – I learned from them. They helped equip me in ways I wasn’t even aware of and I have an expectation I will get home with him and I will do things that I am certain they taught. But not only did they show this love and compassion to my son, but they demonstrated it to me, to Scott. They laughed with us – they helped us stay grounded – they reminded us we were strong enough – and they celebrated with us. I will miss them.
Now we are in the cardiac step-down unit – one step closer to home! It feels more chaotic here, unorganized, less rhythms, more interruptions (if thats possible), we haven’t established a good schedule yet. We are also doing all these courses like CPR on babies, after heart surgery wound care, hematology (because yes I have to administer a shot…twice daily), medication class (and its a lot) and I have been “rooming in”. The good news is during this “Room In” I have only cried 3 times – bad news, I have cried 3 times. It has been a lot, a lot of constant change, I am being shifted and pushed and molded in ways you can’t prepare for, a lot of evolving emotions – anticipation, excitement, anxiousness, grief, a little fear, and joy (and then so many others I can’t identify).
But it’s Holy Week – and in my moments of desperation and exhaustion in the wee hours of this morning, I started thinking about Holy Week and all the events that lead up to the Resurrection. How Jesus chose a donkey not a Stallion, he traveled to the Mount of Olives, the Last Supper, Communion, Betrayal and his Crucifixion just to name a few.
And then I started thinking about Jesus’ mother, Mary. I wonder what that week was like for her? Was she a big ball of yarn? I think it’s more understandable if she was – watching her son, the CHOSEN KING and LIVING HEIR of the most high God.
We don’t know much about Mary during the Holy Week, but can’t we all imagine what it must have been like for her – all the emotions she must have experienced. This is her son – Chosen to save the world. Sure he had been performing miracles (water into Wine – thank you) but I can only imagine or I would like to imagine Jesus as a toddler and the things he would do…
I imagine this week though, was one of the hardest of all in raising Jesus – in being CHOSEN as his mother. She watched him prepare for his final and greatest act, break bread with his closest friends and disciples (Matthew 26:17-30) to only be denied by one of them (Matthew 26:69-75) and betrayed by another (Matthew 26:14-16). Don’t you imagine “momma bear” wanted to roar …
And then Mary must have watched in extreme agony, as her son went to the Cross to bear our sin. Her son, completely innocent, an unblemished sacrifice to SAVE the WORLD (John 12:44-50), Jews and Gentiles a like. He was mocked, beaten, slashed, stoned, tortured. He had a CROWN of thorns forced on his head and he was nailed by his hands and feet to a Cross.
I imagine Mary. I imagine her watching them drive nails into his hands and feet, didn’t she feel that very same pain all the way to the depth of her soul. As he cried out “My God, My God, why have you foresaken me?” (Mark 15:34), didn’t Mary cry out in the same way?
And as Jesus spoke these words, “It is Finished” (John 19:30) and as many scholars believe his heart ruptured, standing there at the foot of the Cross watching her beloved son take his last breath – as his heart ruptured, her very own heart shattered into a million little pieces.
Reflecting on Mary during this Holy Week, I find Rest and Strength. Mary didn’t choose a virgin birth – she was Chosen. Mary didn’t choose to be the mother of a son, chosen to save the world – she was Chosen.
I didn’t choose to have a son with a heart condition but I was Chosen to be Townes’ mother and Scott was Chosen to be his Father. We have been equipped and we can find rest there. “Now may the God who brought us peace by raising from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ so that he would be the Great Shepherd of his flock; and by the power of the blood of the eternal covenant may he work perfection into every part of you giving you all that you need to fulfill your destiny.” Hebrews 13:20-21
And so we must RISE UP – I can and you can because you have been CHOSEN. Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we can “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16.
So although this Holy Week does look different than years past, let’s find rest here. Let’s find his goodness. Lets celebrate Passover and the Lord’s Supper with our families. Let’s take Communion. Lets stand confident in knowing that although there are dark days – better ones are coming…that is Jesus’ promise!
In Rest –
Often over the years, I’ve found myself pondering God’s love, his grace. I’ve asked myself what does it look like to fully experience his love overflowing, to feel as though you are walking in his grace abounding? Have you? I know it happens, Townes’s miracles upon...