So why did the Lord's death leave me shaken in a way it never had before? Because THIS woman had never heard the story before. Yeah, I know I just said I had heard it a hundred times. But that was before. Before Little. Before Duchenne. You know, before.
See, I had never heard the story of the crucifixion with a set of mother's ears before. Having a child changes everything. Having a child with a chronic illness? Well. There's just nothing, no person, and not a single solitary event that I view the same as I did before. I have more empathy for others, I assume that people are acting out of struggle more than just bad manners or rudeness than I used to, I carry more pain around with me (for myself, my husband, my son, my friends and family who are dealing with hardships, strangers on the news, sad stories on the internet, etc), I judge less. I don't mean that I am sad all the time - I am certainly not! I guess, I just mean that I am softer now. My corners are less likely to cut you. This brief time I've had in the world of Duchenne and parenthood has completely altered my perception.
Hearing what our Lord had to endure, I could not stop myself from thinking about his own parents. Not Joseph so much, because to be honest, I don't really know what happened to him after Jesus taught in the temple when he was 12. The Bible doesn't say a whole lot else about him. But Mary was there that day. Mary was there as they were preparing him for the cross. As Dean Roach (my preacher) was talking about the stripping of Jesus's robes and the beatings and spitting, I just kept feeling these stabs in my heart for his mother. To see your child like that? To know what was about to happen - that he was about to have spikes driven through his wrists as if he were a scrap piece of wood? Mary had to witness something so unfathomable - her baby nailed to a cross. Did you all know Jesus was scourged? That means his beard was ripped off of his face - hand pulled off of his face. So not only did she see her son on the cross, thorns in his head, but his flesh was missing from his cheeks and chin. How Mary survived that horror herself, was only through the grace of God. I sat there listening to Dean describing the details of that day and I couldn't help but think about the pain and suffering that I will have to watch my own child go through as his DMD progresses. Little's muscles will begin to waste away soon and contract into themselves, painfully pulling away from his joints. He will begin to lose strength and mobility as that happens, falling more frequently, bruising and scraping and breaking skin and bones along the way. And as I sat there, comparing and contrasting Mary's experience with my own, one mother to another, I realized that God, too went through everything Mary did. He's Jesus's father, so all of that parental pain and anguish Mary felt, God felt, too - except that God did it by choice. God did this on purpose.
God did it for us.
Our God is an awesome God! Knowing FULL well how horrendous that day would be, God still sacrificed his one and only son as payment for our sins. He gave up his child for us. For you. For me. For nasty old, pitiful, terrible, sinful, undeserving, scumbags such as ourselves. He took a chance on us. He let his son die that way on the shot of just one of us accepting Him as our Almighty, as his Son as our Lord and Savior and that we'd repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. There are just no words powerful enough to thank Him. I just...........oh man. Nope, no words. Magnify His name!
Could I give up my son if it meant a cure for Duchenne? Could I hand my son over to the wolves and let them rip him apart limb from limb if it meant that by doing so, all anyone with DMD had to do was believe in him and live for God and they'd be free from this disease? That's essentially what Mary did. She trusted in God, allowed her son to do what God called him to do, and endured the worst reality anyone could ever face. The disciples even decided to take her away at one point bc they didn't want her to watch Jesus actually be nailed to the cross. Then she came back. She couldn't stay away. No matter how terrible it was, Mary could not stay away from her son's side. What a remarkable mother. But could I do the same? I don't know. I would hope so, but I don't know. I had trouble just handing him over to his surgical team earlier this week because of the elevated risk of death he has from anesthesia (more on that in the next blog). But wow - what incredible parents Jesus had. We should all be so in love with our children. Keep in mind that we are all God's children, too. He gave up one child (Jesus) to save the others (us). "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
I think this particular sermon will stick with me for a very long time. It has left some vivid images in my head and emotions in my heart. I am excited to see what other lessons from the Bible are going to sound brand new to me with these "new ears" of mine. The story of Job is another one that I was able to learn more from this go-round, too.
If you are reading my blog for the first time today - welcome! I know some of you are here from a little blog sharing I am taking part of as a christian blog swap group. I hope you stick around and feel free to check out some of my older posts. "The Diagnosis" is a good one to check out if you have no idea what I'm referencing when I talk about DMD or Little.
To my regulars - Next up: MDA Muscle Walk 2013, Little's surgery, & some RiDiCuLoUsLy fantastic pictures from his 3 yr photo shoot. Little's Leaguer of the month will be back next time, too!