Letter to Mary
You did not know what the future held for you as you grew up. Tradition names your parent as Joachim and Ann. They took care of you until you blossomed and ripened for marriage. I am sure a couple of the young men in your village eyed you.
You gave your heart to a man named Joseph. He became the apple of your eye. Your heart beat with love for him. He was your everything as you dreamed of making your life with him. You must have worked it all out in your mind, how many children you wanted with the village’s only skilledcarpenter.
That later on became a dream, a nightmare. You had to pinch yourself to make sure that you were not dreaming. An intrusion in your life by One greater than you, by One who raises the poor and brings down the proud hearted. You gave in to Him who overcame and overpowered you. His spirit overshadowing you changed your life. You became pregnant.
I still do not understand how it happened but the Good Book tells us that the Almighty took over your life and made you the mother of his Son. You were a mother in waiting. You had to explain matters to the carpenter to whom you had given your heart. You still loved him. You had to face your doubting parents and explain to them how you became pregnant out of marriage. While you must have been apprehensive, you were gifted with Grace from on high.
You broke his heart, you left him doubting you and your love for him. He was confused. But again, the Power from on high intervened to save you. He was spoken to and accepted the interruption in your lives. You gave birth under the protection of Joseph who adopted your child as his to give him the ancestral tree that he needed.
Mary, you are now a mother who carried the baby in your arms. He was your bundle of joy. He became the focus of both of your lives. You provided all his needs and taught him the traditions of his ancestors. You must have taught him how to pray.
When he left home to become itinerant preacher, I wonder what you made of such a lifestyle. Did you go with him? I remember that you were the only reason he worked his first miracle at the wedding feast. At his death you stood under the cross and when his body was taken down you held it close to your heart. For you, it was not a dead body but your son.
Today many mothers are forced to hold the lifeless bodies of the sons killed by the institutions of society. Some of the killings seem systematic, others accidental. Racial killings, ritual killings and even brutal killing as well as killing as a result of hatred occur freely these days. Teach our mothers how to hold the lifeless bodies of their sons. Help them find meaning and consolation. Call on the Power from above to enlighten them, to overshadow them too.
Last week a heart broken mother sat on the mound of soil that has become the resting place of her son killed by wickedness in Kenya. Try as I could, I have not been able to get rid of that image in my mind. It seems to be embedded deeply in my heart. I wake up at night thinking of that mother, his mother, my mother, our mothers. In my seven score years of life, I have seen grieving mothers mourn but never a mother sitting on the grave of her son whose body she was not allowed to see due to the brutal nature of the police killing. This son was buried in “secret” as she was not permitted to attend her own son’s burial. Oh, Mary, mother of Jesus, at least you were able to see and hold your ‘baby’ in your hands and to see his burial, thus you put closure to that chapter of your life. This poor woman in Nairobi was denied that courtesy.
Reports coming out of Cape Town indicate that three little girls about ten years old were raped and killed. Were the criminals trying to hide their crime of rape? Now they had added insult to injury. I think of their mothers this cold winter evening and the emptiness and pain in their hearts that are bleeding and pray for them. Please, Mary, speak to them.
What I ask tonight is that you hold these poor women in your arms and console them. Speak words only a Mother can speak and tell them that it is alright and that all would be well again. Reassure them and all women who suffer and touch them with a Mother’s love. That is my letter to you tonight.
Your wayward son, Frank
Authored by Bishop Frank Nubuasah