Grace and Peace to you.
As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
She had lost a child— that most hollowing grief. He was her only son, her only way to pass on what she meant to the world. She was a widow, sorrow already having come and made a home with her. She was now without family, without a way to survive in the world. Though a stranger to her, Jesus, the Compassionate One, felt her anguish with her.
There is something fundamental to who we are, a part of us we believe we can’t live without, why it is that we are alive, what it is that we have been given to give to the world, how we shall go on— it is the child within us, the offspring of our heart, the self we hope to be. And sometimes it seems that it’s taken from us. To some degree maybe we all are grieving the loss of the Child, the hope of our souls, the Love of our Life.
But the Child, our hope, our Beloved whom we have lost, God restores to us. This story of Jesus copies the story of Elijah raising the widow’s son (in 1 Kings 17), ending with the same words: “He gave him to his mother.” It’s not just a miracle, it’s a gift, a personal gift. When our inner Beloved, our heart’s Child, has been taken from us, the Compassionate One touches our grief, stretches out upon our sorrow, and restores to us the Love we had lost. God’s work is to renew, to restore, to return life to us.
And to return us to life. For we are really the ones who are revived. We ourselves are God’s Beloved Child, who have in ways died, lost our life. There is, as the Elijah story says, “no breath left” in us. And God restores us to life. It often takes a long time. But we are brought back to life. It is a gift, a miracle. And the Healer will give us to our Mother.
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