Theology in the Trenches

Mary’s Miracle (Part 2)
Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, June 7, 2019
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Religion Columnist

(Mary’s world was rocked by the death of her son, Abel, who had an aggressive form of leukemia. At the age of 19, within the span of months, he died. Despite her desperate pleas to the Lord, He chose to take Abel home. Now Mary’s world lay broken and her heart shattered into a million pieces.)

May 7th … The 100 day celebration took place.

May 8th … A follow up doctor’s visit dashed all hope. The leukemia was back.

May 17th… Abel died.

Silence. Pause. Breathe.

Unfortunately when mamas do any of these while in crisis mode it often looks as though we are drowning. Although Mary’s world was now still, it was anything but quiet. Her deafening cries wanted to appeal her case before the Magistrate upon the throne. When Mary paused, internally she was a thrashing machine chewing up everything in her path. When she tried to breathe … the air entered her lungs in gasps of desperation at the loss of her very soul that took its last breath when Abel died. Every fiber of her being was in fetal position longing to join her son in death.

She would have gladly given her own life months ago. That’s what mamas do. Mamas carry a wellspring of love for their offspring. Yes, in a heartbeat, Mary would have given her own to Abel. But it was not to be. He was gone.

Now, Mary slept. She slept hard, and she slept often. What else was there to do when you pray and it appears as though nobody is listening? Her son was now gone after all that prayer, and she had nothing left to give anyone … not even herself. As Abel had slipped away, she’d slipped away with him drowning now in a sea of sorrows. It was all just too much.

Depression racked the core of her being. Therapy came without end to no end. The only way out for Mary was to let this life slip right on past so she, too, could be with Abel. After all, that’s what she wanted. Why couldn’t she finally have something she wanted? If He wasn’t going to give her what she prayed for … she’d just take it. That’s it … I’ll take what I want and as life has no meaning now … I’d rather be done than live on.

One day, with nothing else to give, her therapist asked if she’d ever considered going to Cursillo, a Christ centered retreat for adults. As the therapist thought this might be good for her, Mary poked around for information about it in hopes that something might surface. Out of nowhere it seemed, a couple approached her and offered to sponsor her on this very retreat.

In Mary’s own words, “I don’t have any idea why I agreed to it, but I did! I only said yes because I figured I could back out if I changed my mind.”

On a Thursday night in January, Mary went. Physically she was present, but mentally had checked out at the point of entry. Yet, even Mary knew deep down that just because we check out does not mean that God is not checking in. He was not hindered by Mary’s stubborn heart in the least because He is an expert in the field heart transplants. (To be continued)

Next week is the final week of this three part story. You will read in Mary’s own words what went down during this time. I pray you continue to be blessed by Mary’s story.

Spoiler Alert: “I will give you a new heart. And put a new spirit within you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ez. 36:26).

Watch for the miracles. Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)

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