A tear winds its way through the crevices that line the corners of her eyes. Using gnarled fingers, she wipes it away, blinking as the past fades before her to reveal the present. She smiles wistfully at her interviewer.
Her smile is still kind, though framed with lines. Lines of laughter; lines of worry.
“But I know he will come again. He promised that he would. And he never broke a promise.” She bobs her head, an outward show of her inward certainty.
The interviewer sets his stylus and papyrus down and peers at the woman a moment.
He looks down that words on his paper. Her words. Her story. His story. Intertwined.
But this was no ordinary story. This was the true story of the Messiah; told by the one person who knew him best.
Her words flutter across his brain…..
“I could hardly believe it! The child in her womb kicked as though he knew already that his cousin was special.”
“Ah, yes. Dearest Joseph. He loved this child just as fiercely as any of our others.”
“My soul magnifies the Lord…”
He looks up at her as she watches him.
“I’ve only one last question, if I may,” he asks though he will not write the answer. This is purely for his own interest.
She nods at him, so he continues. “Knowing now what ‘the sword that would pierce your own soul is’, would you still have been his mother?”
*** Her Story***
I remember Simeon’s words over Yeshua. They were so happy and full of promise, yet filled me with an unearthly dread. “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against- yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also- that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Fear pulsed through me in that moment. I stole Yeshua back from Simeon, holding him tighter than was required. And I knew in my heart then that this child would bring me more joy and sorrow than I’d ever felt.
Yeshua grew strong. He was much like other children though there was a seriousness to his eyes others would never possess. His brothers and sisters teased at him. Perhaps they sensed even at a young age that he was different. He grew tall and learned quickly. Joseph taught him, as he did the other boys, the skills required from a carpenter. By age 13, Yeshua joined the other boys in the temple, though he was a teacher just as much, if not more, than a pupil. It was then that I saw a distinct change in him. No longer was he just a boy; he became a man.
I felt the first scrape of that sword then.
At age 30, he began his travels. All those years leading to them, however, he studied carpentry, even taking over the business after Joseph’s death, taking care of our family. At that point, his brothers and sisters were grown with families of their own. I found myself alone.
And so I followed. I followed as he healed, taught, and stood firm. I followed the crowds that circled around him day in and day out.
I watched the people ascend on him like bees to a honeycomb. And I watched as years later, they fled from persecution.
The sword flashed even then.
And I listened. I listened as they spoke words of awe, worship, and adoration. I listened to him speak to crowds and reveal the most marvelous, wonderous truths I have ever heard. And I listened when unbelievers spoke harshly, spreading lies about him.
The sword pricked at my heart.
And I saw him die. My beautiful son, created within me by Yahweh, beaten beyond recognition. Defiled by the very creation that he loved. His body, once small enough for me to hold in my arms, now grown and defined by the work of his father was broken beyond repair. His words, which once brought healing, now reverberated across the skies in anguish.
The sword rent my soul in two. Simeon’s words echoed in my ears as Yeshua called out to Yahweh. Though he had said he’d live again, the broken pieces of me were too weak to find the hope required. My heart shattered, pieces fluttering in the wind with his last breath.
Yet I followed them to the tomb. I watched as they lay him in it. I listened for him to live again. And I saw the empty tomb.
“Yes, I would have been his mother again- a million times over. While my soul was pierced, my life is changed. For Simeon also said, ‘For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.’ And as his mother, mine was the first face of all people’s that he saw.
For that, I would change nothing.”
I can only imagine what it must have been like for Luke to interview Mary. She was one of his greatest resources in telling the story of the life of Christ. What I would have given to be a fly on the wall while the two of them talked.
See Luke 2:25-35 as a reference.