For this Mother’s Day, my family went to the annual Renaissance Festival. Overall, it was quite an enjoyable trip. Part way through, however, God happened for me by curious means.
As we were sitting watching one of the many shows that are offered across the Festival, my mother leaned over to me and said that she was feeling faint. The Boy Scout in my kicked in and I handed her her bottle of water. She took a few sips and went back to watching the show. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw her slowly lean forward towards the bench in front of us. I quickly reached around her and guided her into my lap. There were some very kindpeople sitting behind us that helped lay her out on the bench. She stayed unconscious for several minutes, but I kept her steady in my arms. I kept her neck straight so she could breathe easily and held her close as they applied ice to her forehead and neck. After a time, she came round again, disoriented and queasy, but alright.
The irony of that moment did not escape me as the two of us were cast in this reverse Pieta. Here I was holding my mother, fragile and helpless in my arms on Mother’s Day when we celebrate the day she became a mother and held me more times than I could ever count, fragile and helpless in her arms. In our Order one of our exercises to see God not just as Father but as Mother. To do so we reflect on our own mothers and the images that conjures. It was very distinct in that moment, one of those pervasive moments of insight from Divine- as I held her head in my lap I knew that I was holding God there close to me, just as mom had held me, just as God holds us all.
It wasn’t until later when I replayed the scene in my mind that I was struck with how vulnerable that moment was. My heart aches when I think of her falling forward, unconscious towards that bench. I have but a glimpse now of what she’s felt when I’ve been ill, when I’ve been in such need of her help. That moment reminds me of how precious my mother is to me. And I thank God for Her grace in watching out for us both through all these years.