Early that Monday morning, I awoke to the beeps and whirrs of machines, muffled voices and muted lights. My clothes were binding me as I rolled over in a bed crackling with the sound of plastic underneath my body. I stole a glance at the bed next to me to assure myself that she was still there. Exhausted as I was from the endless questions created by the concussive state of her mind, I managed to breathe a prayer: “Yes, Lord, I know. She’s alive. I thank you for this gift to her and to us.” Less than 24 hours before, everything had been within our normal routine for a warm Sunday in May: church, lunch and a few moments of rest before a trip back to church for the afternoon confirmation service.
Then the phone rang. My husband answered and immediately walked to the bedroom as he often does for important phone calls. I heard him asking a few pointed questions which I could not fully hear. Immediately he was standing in front of me. What he said next changed my perspective on life forever.
Our daughter was in a flight-for-life helicopter on her way to the hospital. Reeling with disbelief I numbly followed my spouse to the car, hopped in and asked what had happened. The car lurched onto the road before he was able to speak.
He choked out the fact that our daughter had been involved in a freak motorcycle accident during the training that she was attending. Her bike had gone out of control and launched her off the machine and face-first into a tree. Classmates and her instructor had found her unresponsive. They gave her CPR. After just minutes and a flurry of activity she was on the helicopter.
All this was going through my mind as I lay there trying to figure out if this was a bad dream or had truly happened. The dread in the pit of my stomach told me the truth; this was anything but a dream.
What do you suppose was going through Mary’s mind on the Monday after the Sunday we now call Easter? As a mother of a child who was severely injured, recovered and lived, it is incredible to think of what Mary witnessed and endured during the first Holy week. Jesus had his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, the trial before Pontius Pilate, crucifixion, and burial. Had Mary witnessed many of these events first hand? Scripture tells us she was stationed at the foot of the cross. The words of aged Simeon,
And a sword will pierce your own soul too... Luke 2:35b
must have reverberated loudly in her ears as one injustice after another rained down upon Jesus.
And then the fantastic news came early Sunday: the empty tomb, the confusion of John and Peter, the claims of Mary Magdalene and the joy-filled message of the disciples of Emmaus. Was Mary there in the upper room when the Lord appeared? What did her heart feel while her head was trying to make sense of it all?
And now it was Monday. This day was a Monday like no other. I imagine Mary and all the disciples rushing to the temple to share their experiences with all the others who were hearing the rumors and wondering if the impossible stories were true. As she gathered a new chapter in the life of her marvelous, amazing Savior Son, I wonder if the words of the angel Gabriel came back to Mary:
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
Perhaps Psalm 46 came to her mind over and over again. It definitely entered my brain during the tough time with our child.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
How is it possible to be still and let God do his thing when your child is hurting or someone else is causing him pain, or when both are at another’s mercy? For me, standing in the emergency room with our daughter, and watching all that was going on around us was surreal. Like her, I may have been in shock, but no one and nothing could have taken me away from her during her time of need. Feeling helpless, I tried to pray, but prayers of the Holy Spirit were the only ones I could formulate.
One thing I do know is this: when you are still because there’s nothing else you can do, the Lord will comfort you. He will fill your heart and mind with courage to face the trauma. He will send your mind one scripture verse after another to share with your loved one or to calm your own soul. He will put just the right people in the right place at the right time so that even though you are not thinking of your own needs at all, they are being met.
I watched every one of the few hundred or so stitches that reconstructed her face and God gave me the courage to do so. After she was taken to recovery and I was told, “No, now she rests,” some kind man came out of nowhere to ask if I needed a hug. I had a good cry and uttered my mantra again, “Yes, Lord, I know. She’s alive. I thank you for this gift to her and to us.”
Easter is past and gone. Now it’s Monday, but since the first Easter, every Monday will be a Monday like no other. What a glorious day it is! What a wonderful day every day is! Because of what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and rising again, we can get through any trial, temptation, horror and worst nightmare. God does have our back. He IS God. We can be still. He has given us the power to trust him. We can marvel at his plan of salvation and we can tell everyone else we meet about our Savior. Most of all, we can say with certainty and joy, “Yes, Lord, I know. You’re alive!”
The resurrection changed my perspective on life forever. How about yours?
Dearest Lord, we praise you for your ever-present love and care for every aspect of our lives. Most of all we stand in awe of your resurrection from death and redemption of the world. Even with your amazing display of power over life and death, we are being true to our own nature when we are afraid during times of trouble or uncertainty. We begin to doubt your love for us. We forget to ask for your help and we try to control situations that we are powerless to remedy. Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of faith and trust in you. Renew our sagging spirits and fill us with the joy of your salvation. Deliver us from the evils that surround us and instill in us a desire to help others during their time of need. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
** Picture taken at Mount Rubidoux in Riverside, California where the first sunrise service in America was held back in 1909.