Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Motherhood in the Garden of Gethsemane
In my darkest days, I think that motherhood is doing things that don't matter for people who don't care. Preparing food they refuse to eat, buying clothes they refuse to wear, picking up toys that get thrown back on the floor, teaching them lessons they can't remember and don't want to learn. Some days, it seems, all my kids and I can say to one another is "No!" And it all seems utterly futile.
These thoughts, allowed to continue unchecked, drive me down the path to despair. These thoughts are like the whisperings of the dark angel that taunted and tempted Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. You're a failure. You can't do it. Some people hate you, and to the rest, you're a nuisance. They don't care what you've done for them. No matter how much you sacrifice, they will never love you.
But for Our Lord, the whisperings were worse. Your people are soaked in sin, it has penetrated to the bone, they will never give it up for you, they won't, they can't, they don't want to. No matter how many times you tell them, they will never obey; no matter how many miracles you show them, they will never believe. And under the weight of this agony, Our Lord began to sweat tears of blood. But in the midst of his agony, there was also an angel of light to minister to him and strengthen him.
What words of comfort did the angel offer to Jesus? Perhaps, "the Lord is your rock, and your fortress, and your deliverer." Or, "although you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you need fear no evil."' Perhaps the angel even promised to Jesus, "Behold, you will make everything new."
Our Lord in the Garden had the freedom to accept his mission or deny it, and he freely chose to follow his father's will. I, too, have the freedom to make a choice in my mission of motherhood. I can act as a dark angel or a light angel perching on my children's shoulders. I do not have to pass my dark, despairing doubts onto them. I can say, "You can do it, because God will help you,"and "You are loved, because God has loved you." And perhaps I can spare them my agony.