And now. Now my baby is a man. And I kneel at the foot of a cross and watch him die. My first-born, my joy and my blessing, whipped and tormented. A mother shouldn’t have to see this. The infant that played at my feet.
They said he would reign for ever. They – angels, shepherds, wise men – they all said he would be the hope and the saviour of his people. How can that be when he hangs limp and battered, dying a criminal’s death?
My hope has gone, crushed with my son. As his body is beaten and tortured so hope is cast out of my soul. As nails are hammered through his flesh, with each thud, my heart breaks a little more.
Blessed. The angel said I was blessed. Blessed to have found favour with God. And how does my blessing takes its form? It finds me at the foot of a cross as life drains from my son’s body. With each agonised breath he takes, I gasp for air for him. I call upon God to send his angels, to move heaven and earth to rescue his son – my son. I beat upon the ground and scream out to God, ‘For this? This is why he was born? No! Where are you?’
My son is dead.
And now words return to me, words spoken by an old man in a temple. A sword will pierce your soul. And as my soul screams, I can only trust and wait, and wonder – what was it all for?