Have you ever imagined spending a day with someone from the past? Who would that person be? In Chris Padgett’s book, “Wholly Mary, Mother of God,” Chris invites the reader to imagine spending a day with Mary. Jesus’ mom. I’ve been wanting to learn more about Mary and why she may be important in my life so I picked up this book. I am glad I did. This invitation caught my eye. It was just a sentence on a page filled with the Good News of the Gospel, but it struck me and now you get to read about my imaginary day with Mary. ( I hope you don’t think I am nuts).
Goodness, if I really had this opportunity to take a time machine and spend a day with Mary, I think I would be a nervous wreck. What would I wear? Would she care? Would she know I don’t say the rosary very often and when I do, I usually fall asleep doing so? I’m probably overthinking things and I think she would be happy just to see me. At least that is what I am going to imagine, happy Mary. Motherly Mary, loving Mary.
Here we are on the big day. I arrive at Mary’s house. I don’t know why, but I am picturing an adobe type house (is that realistic? I’m not doing period research so bear with me). I’m dressed nicely, but not in formal wear or anything. No heels, I just can’t walk in them, I have weak ankles. I quickly forget about all that. Mary is beautiful, the kind of beauty that radiates from the inside out. She welcomes me and offers an embrace that feels so good, warm, loving. The kind you get from your grandma or your own mom when you haven’t seen them in a while. You know you are loved in that embrace.
She is happy to see me. She’s been waiting for me to visit for a long time. She knows I have lots of questions for her, but she offers me a cup of tea first. As we sit, I almost don’t know where to start. So I guess I’ll start at the beginning.
“What was it like being told by the angel that God had chosen you to be the mother of Jesus?” (Luke 1:26-38). That has to be my first question. I would be scared to death at age 14 and such a big mission! I imaging she laughs a little and then gets a nostalgic look on her face and begins telling me about that day. She goes on to tell me about how Joseph reacted as well. What a good man he was to believe and accept the news when he easily could have left her. I am sure the story is a beautiful one and a hard one as well, we all know from the bible the essential parts of that story.
My next question would be, “how was Jesus as a baby and a boy?” I am still raising kids and grandkids so the insight could be valuable. The Bible says very little about His childhood. What mom wouldn’t want to know if she had to get after Him to clean up his toys or help out at dinner? The Bible does tell us that He was obedient to his parents (Luke 2:51). She laughs, I imagine, and assures me that He was a little boy after all…
“How did you know Jesus could and would change water into wine at that wedding party (John 2:1-12)?” The boldness of Mary amazes me. His response is classic kid to mom response – you know the story – but Jesus is obedient to her even then and performs his first miracle. She just knew, she had faith in HIM. It was also the best “party trick” ever, she laughs.
I have to ask her to tell me about Joseph. The Bible says so little about him. He was a faithful Jew and a carpenter. She tells me about his firm, calloused but loving hands, I imagine, and how he helped her to teach Jesus.
We finish our tea and head outside to continue as we walk. I imagine she loves God’s creation (nature) as I do. His paintbrush always amazes me.
We walk and talk about getting to know the disciples and how Jesus ministry grew. We talk about how her role in His life changed as time went on, but she was always there praying for Him. When Jesus was gone in the dessert for 40 days (Luke 4:1-13), I imagine she tells me that she prayed so hard for him, “like you must do for your children. For they will be tempted too, but Jesus will win them over.”
The next question is so hard. When I was a child I would cry hearing the Passion story acted out at Mass. I could never shout “crucify him,” I wanted to stop the dramatic reading and say, “don’t you know who HE is?” I ask, “How did you handle that awful time?” I can’t stand my own child’s pain, must less the passion and death of Jesus. We both shed a tear, and it pierced her heart like a sword. But she also knew it was God’s will and that His death would save us all. “He gave me to you (and John and everyone) as your mother (John 19:26-27).” “Come to me any time you need me to pray for you, my son listens to his mama,” I imagine her saying.
It’s time for me to go home, but I get another warm embrace and I know I will spend more time with Mother Mary.
If you had the chance to go back in time and talk to someone, who would it be and how would it go? Let me know in the comments or on my facebook page.
P.S. To find Chris Padgett’s book “Wholly Mary, Mother of God” go here: http://www.chris-padgett.com/books