“May I bear your pain?”
“Allow me to carry your suffering for you…”
These are not my words but those of the Lord Christ. Although they were never historically recorded for us, they make themselves evident throughout the Gospel stories of Jesus’ encounters with people at every level of society.
I hope that someday they will be my words.
My mind seems relentlessly drawn back to our Scripture passage about being a mother of Christ – or a brother or a sister. To be so close to Him – to be welcomed into His immediate family – such joy!
We are told that if we do the will of the Father, we are mother and brother and sister to Him. This makes complete sense. If we do not love our Father enough to respect and obey Him, we are not ready to be family with Him.
All of us have grown up with less than perfect families – it is part of being human. Even the best of human families are made up of sinners and most of us have not had (or been) the best.
Thus, it is impossible for us to fathom just what it means to be invited into family with the Lord. It certainly must be something far beyond anything we can imagine.
I wonder why I try to write of something I cannot understand. Perhaps because there has been implanted in me (and all of us) a longing for complete and eternal Home. A Home where, as family of Christ, we are so “related” that we are Body together.
We do not live in such a Home alone, any more than the organs of a body function apart from one another. Rather, we support each other so intimately that separation is incomprehensible.
Such a Body is possible only with Christ as our Head. Such a Home is possible only with God as Father of all.
If I might, for a moment, return to the words of St. Porphyrios that I recorded in my last post, he referred to “commingling of the soul with the divine”. Or as is stated in 2 Peter (ch. 1), Christ has bestowed great promises on us that we “may come to share in the divine nature”.
This is particularly intriguing because generally we think of mothers (and fathers) giving their life and nature to their children. But here, as we are invited to be mothers of God, His nature is given to us.
As He is born, we are re-born. We are made glorious in Him. Yet we can only “give birth”, bringing others into the Body, because birth was first given to us.
Despite this promise of glory, we must never forget that giving birth is inevitably a painful process.
The love which gives birth, the love which makes us “mother” to Christ, is that love which reaches out to take the pain of another, to carry his suffering, to hold her sorrow, with profound compassion.
It is not a social policy. It is not a charitable donation. It is my life-blood, offered for the other.
If I am to be “mother of God”, my soul commingling with the divine (I pray it be so!), I must be ready to spill every drop of that life-blood to make it happen.
I cannot accept birth or give birth without labor, the emptying of myself.
I cannot live in Body and not live as Body. My self can only offer all that it is for the healing and health of us all.
My cells cannot be more important than other cells. Nor can they have their own agenda or declare their functions to serve some and not others.
I cannot be in family, in Home, and disobey. I have a Father and only in Him, in His love, with the truth and wisdom of His Spirit, can we be eternal Home together.
This is the life that I long for. This is the life for which we were made.
I am not good enough or strong enough to do any of this, of course.
But He comes – no, He is here – and He shares with me His very nature.
May I bear your pain? Allow me to carry your suffering for you…
Amen. Let it be so.
(Today is the one year anniversary of the beginning of this little blog. Thank you, dear readers, for supporting me here. Let us pray for each other as we allow ourselves to be led by God.)