I Obeyed Then

Friday, March 25, 2016



I read this poem back in February and found myself stopping to read it again and again. I don't often enjoy things that tell me things that Scripture doesn't include, but somehow, this piece led me to do the kind of thinking I needed.

It's Good Friday and this poem is still fresh in my mind. Things are soooo much different this year than they were last year. The same is probably true for you. Take a moment to read this poem, I think you'll enjoy it!

The Tenth Hour by Madeleine L'Engle

Who is to comfort whom
in this time beyond comfort
this end of our time?
Can I, who already have one mother,
alive, oh, very alive, and not over-willing to share,
be another man's mother's son?
Perhaps if she could hold me, as she so small a time ago
  held him,
knowing him dead with only a fragment of her knowing
the rest of herself, her arms, heart, lips,
not understanding death---
but we will not touch. Not that way.

Can she, who has lost in such a manner her son,
be mother once again, past child-bearing, caring
to a man full grown?
I loved her son, ran from him, returned only for the end,
most miserable - I, not he -

"Son."

My lips move. "Mother." though no sound comes.
She leaves the hill, the three crosses.
I follow. To her empty house.
She does not weep or wail as I had feared.
She does the little, homely things, prepares a meal, then
O God
washes my feet.
"An angel came," she said,
"to tell me of his birth. And I obeyed.
No angel's come to tell me of his death."

This, I thought, was not an argument.
I held back tears, since she held hers, though foolishly.
We ate---somehow---she always listening.
I said, at last, "You do not mourn."
She looked down at me gravely.
"No, my son. My second given son.
I obeyed then. Shall I do less today?"


I've never really thought about what it was like to be Mary on this day. She obeyed once and though Jesus Christ's death should not have come as a surprise, she was called to obey once more.

The same is true for us. We obey and we must keep obeying.

Enjoy your Easter weekend!

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