In the quiet of the evening, especially when my children are snuggled up next to me after a rough week of work and school, my mind often wanders to Mary and how she handled the unfixable moments of Christ’s life. Jesus, like all of our children, was different.
One can imagine that Jesus, the human child, endured bullying, heartache, and loss, just as we all have. He was, after all, fully human, and so he experienced childhood in much the same way as we all have, and many of our children continue to do so.
When he was a young boy, how did Mary ease the pain of Christ’s knowing of what he would endure? Or how did she help him feel better on the ordinary days when he felt tired or anxious about what he encountered in the streets that bordered his home? I can only imagine the gently loving ways in which she perhaps fixed his favorite meal, hugged him, or listened intently to him as he retold to her something he had seen or encountered that troubled him. I love to think of the patience and love shining out of her and onto her son, the young boy whom God entrusted to her care, especially during moments like these.
Whether it is a broken window, broken bone, or burned dinner, mothers seem to know just what to do to solve the problem, fix the broken pieces, and help everyone move on. On the other hand, moms also know that not all things, like broken hearts, disappointments, or even bad decisions, can be fixed in the same way that a broken window can.
It is during these moments—the really, really painful ones, the ones which I know I cannot change for the better on my own, no matter how hard I try—that I lean on our Mother Mary for motherly advice. “Just like a child,” borrowing from the words of St. Francis de Sales, it is during these troubling times that I find myself running to Mary, “casting [myself] into her arms with perfect confidence,” asking her to show me how to surrender myself to God’s will. To do and accept whatever he tells me to do (Jn 2:5).
Although I may not be able to fix every hurt my children encounter along the paths of their lives, I rest easy knowing that Mother Mary is always present to show me how to surrender to the guiding hands of God, allowing him to offer the grace, love, and mercy needed to mend the things that I cannot. And it is in her embrace that I am comforted in knowing that she is always there to love and guide my children into the embrace of her Son.