Thursday, January 16, 2014

Finally Finishing this up...

So I came back here today to get back to write about something that I read in a devotional that really spoke to me and tied into love...the last theme for my advent project that I never finished...what can I say except I got busy, distracted and lacked motivation.  Christmas prep came,  my awesome brother from Saskatchewan and his family came, Christmas came, illness came (uggg) and some awesome time with family and friends came. 
Anyway, what I discovered when I came back is that I had written and posted some blog entries and dated them to post in the future back around Dec. 19th and none of them posted...looks like I scheduled the date and then forgot to hit post.  So please go back and read those posts
December 20
December 21
December 22
December 23
and then come back here later (hopefully sooner then later) and read my final post on love below.  Thanks!

I read about this sculpture from The Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire which is one of England’s best-preserved medieval monasteries. For hundreds of years, Carthusian monks lived there in solitude, devoting themselves to prayer. The priory’s ruins are impressive, but this more modern monument caught the eye of the writer of my devotion's attention.

At the center of this church stands this sculpture.  Known as the Madonna of the Cross, it depicts Jesus’ mother Mary lifting her newborn Son to heaven.  As the author points out there are many striking aspects to the sculpture—like Mary’s posture (determined rather than distraught), and her expression (serene rather than anguished). But perhaps the most striking feature is that she stands in the form of a cross.

 Simeon told Mary when he met her shortly after Jesus' birth that, “a sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35).  She knew her calling would be painful but just how painful was never revealed. Simeon's prophecy was fulfilled in John 19. Mary stood looking at her Son—now lifted up on a cross (Luke 2:25). He was suffering and she loved Him beyond words. Even then He was concerned for her well-being (Luke 2:26-27). The sword had pierced her soul.
But there was a reason why the sculptor depicted Mary as looking serene. “She is looking beyond Calvary to the resurrection,” he says (see Luke 20:1-18).

The question in the devotion was this...
As I reflect on today’s verses and Brocklesby’s sculpture, I ask myself: Will I, like Mary, accept the suffering inherent in my own divine calling? And will I look beyond that pain to God’s promised victory? 
How else did Mary suffer for being the mother of Jesus? In what ways might you suffer for Him today?

And as I pondered this I was struck by the realization that I may very well have something so much in common with Mary.  'Will I, like Mary, accept the suffering inherent in my own divine calling'?
If my divine calling is to be someone who offers support to others in need, who relates to others because of the pain my heart has suffered and because of this pain, intuitively knows what a suffering parent needs to hear and can share Jesus with them so that they too may find comfort...then I guess I have accepted it.  I didn't want too, I fought it so often, hated so many of the moments of it but yet I have always felt that this pain was necessary to become who I am today, who God wishes me to be.
Can I look beyond that pain to God's promised victory?  I guess I can...I don't really see that I have a choice.  I came to Christ, for the most part, because I was afraid I would never see Cole again if I didn't.  I didn't get the option to choose to be a loss parent but I did have a choice in how I dealt with, what I did with that pain, where I allowed God to take me.  I pray each day that it will take me home.
I felt such a connection to Mary's suffering but I also felt such a connection to this sculpture and the reason behind why it was created.  My situation was different, I was never able to offer Cole up to the Lord in this way, never able to lift his body to God and show that I accepted his fate and mine.  But after the initial first few hard years I feel very much more determined and serene then distraught and anguish.
And why is that... Love.
The love I have for the son that holds such a dear place in my heart.  The love I have for the way he has transpired my life.  The love that I have for the Lord who didn't allow my suffering but instead allowed me comfort in my suffering.  The love I have for the Lord who gave us his son and the suffering of his son so that I may one day see mine again.  

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