I was fourteen when I cradled you in my not much more than infant arms,
wrapped you in linen cloth,
fed you with my own life force.
Rich men came and brought gifts fit for a king.
Who knew that the swaddling cloth would herald a shroud,
the myrrh would point to your embalming?
Later I lost you for a while,
hollow burning hunger of fear gnawing at my heart.
Lost in a crowd, I ran with gasping, short panicked breath.
There you were in temple splendour, teaching the teachers.
Who knew that their robes would herald the blood shed,
their headdresses would point to your crown of pain?
I watched you grow up, fine, strong, I longed to
wrap you in soft safe home,
feed you with a safer diet.
You knew who you were to be and, in fear, so did I.
Who knew that your Father's work would herald a cross,
wood and nails would point to ruin?
I wandered after you from time to time,
longed to be part of your life-changing way,
share in the bread and wine of your friendship.
You sent me away, couldn't get it done with me to worry about.
Who knew that the cheers of the crowd would herald the jeers of the mob,
the whisperings of 'Messiah' would point to Pilot's cowardice?
I was there, in the crowd, with other mothers, sisters, friends,
longed to bandage your wounds,
to tear those soldiers apart for following orders.
You looked at me and, from that place of pain, offered care.
Who knew that the heart beat of a mother's love could herald the fading pulse of her son,
the leaden weight of my grief point to your body on my knee?
I am here now, holding you, aching with the outrage of it all, and again
wrapping you in clean white linen,
wishing to trade places with you.
And a rich man offers the gift of a tomb.
This is a new reflection for Good Friday. Four other new reflections for Holy Week will be posted on www.twelvebaskets.co.uk in the next few days.