Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Mother's Sacrifice...

I have always loved the story of Mary and Elizabeth. It might be my favorite part of the whole bible. scandalous, I know. Two women, cousins, one excruciatingly young, unmarried, and pregnant. The other excruciatingly old (advanced in age. Hey wait a minute! I was Advanced Maternal Age my last pregnancy!), given up, and pregnant. Both excited, scared and irrepressibly in love with the sons now growing in their wombs.

I imagine their 3 months together. Soon to be first time moms, talking about clothes not fitting, swollen feet and feeling baby moving. Putting their hands on each others swelling bellies and sharing the wonder and amazement. I can see them preparing meals and chatting about their hopes and dreams for their sons. Almost forgetting their Divine conceptions and the prophecies they are both fulfilling. Maybe even wanting to forget. Because both knew in the darkness of their hearts that there would come a day when their sons would be demanded of them in sacrifice.

As I read this story now as a mother, it fills me with anger. If you have read any of my reflections on my faith, you can't help but notice that I have some anger issues with God. Especially since the lives of 6 of my babies were demanded of me for no good reason. I see myself as Elizabeth saying to God, "No way, Buddy! You can't make me wait for years and years and finally give me a child only to take him away just to serve some stupid prophecy! HE STAYS WITH ME!" Like I said, I have some anger issues.

Another part of it comes from the prevailing plight of women and children around the world and the way they are used as pawns and weapons by men in their wars and rivalries. The men get their panties in a bunch about a border or a religion and soon the women and children are left in the middle to be raped, butchered and displaced. (Is that oversimplification? sure. but, it's the gist.) I want to tell the men, "You know what? Go ahead out into that field and kill each other, but leave the women and children out of it!" And in many ways, that's what I want Mary to tell God. We talk all the time about God sacrificing his son, but it isn't just God's sacrifice. It is a mother watching. powerless to stop it.

There is this children's song on one of my kids' Christmas CDs called The Seven Joys of Mary. When I hear it, it sparks a deep rage in me. The sixth verse goes like this.

The next great joy that Mary had, it was the joy of six
To see her own son, Jesus Christ, upon the crucifix.
Upon the crucifix, good Lord, and happy Mary be.
Oh Father, Son and Holy Ghost for all eternity.

How can they even sing this?! How can they portray this mother at the foot of the cross of her son who is dying a grisly & painful death and sing, "Happy Mary be?!" AND PUT IT ON A CHRISTMAS ALBUM! *pant pant*

I can't help but picture Mary and Elizabeth plotting to sneak their babies away to keep them safe. I guess we all know now why Gabriel never came knocking on my door.

But, since it's Christmas, I'll try to focus on the joyful part of this mothers' story. And put them back lounging in the courtyard complaining about in-laws and giggling about angels and baby names.

4 comments:

Jenni said...

What a frightfully ridiculous song. That makes me mad too.

The Wadhwa Family said...

I think I rather prefer them chillin' in the garden, too. What a terrible song!

valerie said...

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, wondering how much Mary knew and how she could endure knowing what would be required of her son (makes me squeeze my own 'til he can hardly breathe!).

I must have the same CD and I really hate that song! (catchy tune, unfortunately).

The Wadhwa Family said...

I've been thinking more about your post and along the lines of what Valerie said, "how could she endure....." which made me think of the martyr mother. Then I thought, perhaps it's not anger just with God, but also at the martyr mother -- something you've mentioned before. I don't know. It just struck me. But I'm not well versed in scripture, so perhaps I'm way off base here. In fact, I'm not exactly sure what I'm even trying to get at, just that there was some linkage that I sensed instantly when I read this post and it didn't seem to end with anger toward God.

How's that for online analysis?! :)