Just when life feels like it has found it rhythm, the unexpected happens.
Our daily routine sometimes helps us forget that there are bumps in life's road. Events that rock your foundation. Even though you know these things are all part of life and affect everyone at some point- when they hit you, they really can rock your boat.
Sometime during Jesus' youth, Joseph died. Mary knew the grief of widowhood and the loneliness of being a solo mother.Joseph was possibly the only person who understood who Jesus was and then Mary had to carry that knowledge alone. She must pray for women whose husbands die or whose marriages break up and for all women who raise their children alone.
I suppose after Joseph's death people might have thought Jesus would follow in his footsteps and take over the carpenter shop. Maybe he did work as a carpenter for a little while, for they would have needed the money, but we know his life changed and that he was a very unconventional young man.He began to travel around preaching t people and he had some very unusual friends. People would have said, " Your son isn't working". Many women know the feeling of being frowned on because your son has thrown in his job teaching and gone to live in a commune in Nelson, or left the bank to form a band, or been seen wearing a crash helmet in the Anti Springbok marches or joined the Waitangi Action Alliance. Your aunt or neighbour will tell you that you have been too soft or that this would never have happened if his father had lived. Mary's support and loyalty never wavered. Mothers of non-conforming children, mothers of protesters, mothers of the unemployed, mothers of prisoners can all pray to her. She knows all about that.
I am sure that there are many mothers who can identify with this period in Mary's life. Mothers who had visions about their child achieving some sort of 'fame' by becoming a well adjusted 'good' citizen maybe director of a bank, doctor or teacher. ( just focussing in general - not gender related comments)
When that dream doesn't become a reality - society does have a way of 'blaming' the parents. Sleepless nights! Stress! Unwavering love - it is the CHILD who a mother loves - that doesn't mean she agrees with the actions or lifestyle.
Maybe the prophecy ' a sword shall pierce your heart" will have bubbled up from time to time in Mary wondering what else lay in store for her and her son.