How do we walk with the Lord on His journey, especially in this year of so much change and uncertainty. Surrender. Endure. Grieve. Resurrect. That’s how.
Day #2: Endure
Two weeks ago, I read the part of Mary for a Stations of the Cross written from her perspective.
I didn’t like it. The poetry is beautiful and heart-wrenching. Each station ends with Mary accepting what is happening in silence: I watched, silently. I cried, silently. I walked, silently.
It confronted me powerfully, as a mother. It forced me to think through the reasons why Mary, Mother of God, whose strong, brave voice raised in obedience is what started this whole ball rolling, would be relegated to silence through the passion and death of her son.
I wanted her to rage—against Pilate, against Herod, against the priests of her own faith who were killing her son. I wanted the women of Jerusalem to rise up behind her, raise their hands and voices to heaven and call down the archangels to smite them all.
This is why women like me don’t get picked for these kinds of jobs.
Fine. But why, then. And what can we learn from it?
I knew this had to be.
This line is also in each station. An acknowledgment that even though Mary didn’t know or fully understand what was coming, she believed that something was coming. She believed it more strongly than the Apostles, more strongly than anyone. She had surrendered to his plan. God had promised his people a savior. Gabriel said that her baby was the Son of God and would assume the throne of David and His kingdom would never end. She knew, as she followed her broken and bleeding son through the streets of Jerusalem, that this was not that. And though she grieved for her son in his pain and suffering, her faith never waivered.
And that my friends, is what we should learn from her. Resilience founded in faith, that God is always with us and we can do hard things. She didn’t turn away. She stayed in her skin. She witnessed his pain and death, she lived her own agony as he suffered and still, she endured.
If she attacked the soldiers, if she crumbled into a broken shell in the corner, or someone tried to shield her, she would have missed it. And the thing is, it would have happened anyway. There was no way to avoid it. Only delay the terrible reckoning: this thing happened. She chose to be present because she believed in God’s plan.
It had to be endured.
The same is true for us. The sorrows in our lives cannot be ignored, unwitnessed, unacknowledged, shielded from us. They will happen anyway. And our attempts to deny or flee them doesn’t save us from the reckoning, only delays it. They must be endured. The only way out is through. Like Jesus, who endured it all for us, like Mary his Mother who endured it for him and, by the grace of God, we too are strong enough to endure.