What Mary was thinking while her Son was dying

“But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25)

Why am I here? And why is He there?

There seem to be no answers other than “God knows and we trust Him.”

Thy will be done. “I am the bond-slave of the Lord. Be it done to me according to Thy word.”

Sometimes you cry and cry until there are no more tears.

Your heart aches until it no longer feels anything.

Your mind grows exhausted from events happening all around, none of which you were prepared for.

If anyone had told me a year ago I could experience the suffering of this day and live to tell it, I would have thought it impossible.

There are no words to describe this kind of heart-break.

You are surrounded by people, yet are more alone than at anytime in your life.

Friends come over, want to make sure I’m all right. They ask how I’m coping. No words come.

Where are the disciples? They never let Him out of their sight for three years, yet where are they when He needs them? Oh, there’s young John. That’s good.  He’s so broken in spirit. Maybe I should go over and comfort him.

And that may have been Simon Peter in the back of the crowd, I’m not sure.

Standing here, I keep remembering the words of old Simeon when we went into the Temple for Him to receive the dedication of the first-born.  The old gentleman surprised Joseph and me by walking up and reaching out his hands to take our infant. After a moment’s praise to Heaven, he looked at me and said, “A sword shall pierce your own heart.”

Little did he know. Or maybe he did.

I miss Joseph so much. He could help me make sense of all this. My husband had such a strong and unencumbered faith. He heard from The Name, then obeyed. Me, I have to mull things over, to ponder and meditate. Nothing is ever simple for me.

It helps a little–not as much as I wish it did–that He has the most incredible look of peace about Him, even in the midst of what is surely unimaginable suffering. God is with Him. The last few days, He seems to have been moving toward this event, these moments, even dropping a few hints.

Maybe in time we will know what that means. Right now, everything is in a fog.

The noise is unbearable here at the cross. Everyone seems to be shouting. Those not clamoring for His death and taunting Him for His Messianic pretensions, not cursing Him and spitting upon Him–forgive them, Lord!–are crying.  All the women with me are so broken-hearted.

John needs me. I’ll walk over.

And what’s this? Through His agony, His tears, His pain–He speaks from the cross.


Did I hear what I thought I heard? He’s speaking to me.

“Woman. Behold. Your. Son.”

Oh, my beloved. I have been beholding nothing but My Son for these hours. Did you think you were escaping my notice? Do you see how my soul is crying out in pain for You?


He speaks again. This time His eyes have turned toward John.

“Behold. Your. Mother.”

Oh. That’s what He is saying. John will be my son and he is to treat me as his mother.

Once again, He leaves me speechless. (How many times in these thirty-plus years has He done that!) He is suffering an agony  we cannot imagine and what does He do but think of others.

How good He is. How like The Name.

How blessed I am to be His.

I worship Thee, O righteous Lord. There is none like Thee.

“Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow….” (Lamentations 1:12)



5 thoughts on “What Mary was thinking while her Son was dying

  1. Bro. Joe, this is one of the most powerful, touching article that I have ever read!! You have been given the gift of God to express human emotions in such a powerful way.Thank you for accepting the assignment!!

  2. Joe, this is a great expression of love, sorrow, pain, and unbelief, I have ever seen. God bless you, I hope to see you again soon.

  3. Joe – I really needed to read this today. On this day one year ago, March 20, 2012, my stepson, Matt Puckett was executed by the State of MS. He had great faith in the Lord. He died with peace and love for his Lord and Savior in his heart. One day I will have to send you a private message that has his last letter written the day of his execution. My heart is broken for our loss but thankful that he is with his Lord.

    • What a burden that must be, Janie. God bless you and comfort you as only He can. Whenever you’re ready, I’d love to see the letter. Thank you, my friend.

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