I laid awake deep into the night yesterday, waiting for Zoe's cries over the monitor, knowing that I would go to her the moment I knew she needed me.
Somewhere in the darkness, the tears came, thinking of that other mama two thousand years ago who spent the same night watching her child be torn from her.
I held my own firstborn in my arms, tracing the smooth line of her cheek with a trembling finger, and I could barely breathe when I thought of how she had to watch them beat Him and break Him until she was the only one left who could have known Him. It says He was unrecognizable, disfigured beyond belief, but a mama's love would be able to see past all that. In the ragged, swollen lines of His face, she must have seen His first smile, His first steps, the first time He said I love you.
I see her at the foot of His cross, weeping and broken, living out every mother's worst nightmare, the one she knew she'd have to face since the day the angel gave her the news, and I cannot imagine how she kept herself from climbing that cruel tree and tearing Him down with nothing but the strength of her love.
And then I hear Him with torn lips and clumsy tongue doing what He does best, putting the broken things back together, setting the shattered pieces perfectly back in their place.
It is finished.
Bloody and broken and utterly victorious He hangs while His mother weeps in the shadow of His triumph.