I opened my eyes, trying to shake the image of my son, lying on the ground, badly wounded from the explosion. He was unresponsive, almost lifeless, his breathing shallow.
The feeling of helplessness and agony that overwhelmed me, flooded back. I felt weak, nauseous. Willing the images to leave my mind, I sat up in bed.
What a way to start the day, and not just any day. The nightmare that woke me up, early Mother’s Day morning, started with numerous car crashes. Some family members were wounded, others killed. It ended with a massive explosion that nearly killed our son. It held no obvious meaning, and served only to torment my heart…
In church, a few hours later, we had communion. Jesus. Broken. Bleeding. Wounded…. for me. A Son who suffered and died, with purpose.
The nightmare flashed through my mind again. I thought of Mary. It was her son too, who hung on that cross.
I put my head on Tim’s shoulder, and big tears splashed all over his shirt. I didn’t sob, but the tears kept splashing down on him. He saw the water spots, looked at me, and I smiled past the mess I was, willing myself to shut off the intense emotion, and that picture. I had told him the nightmare earlier…
“Dumb nightmare,” I whispered quietly, almost giggling with confused emotion, feeling a bit foolish that something not real could impact me so profoundly.
Tim’s eyes held compassion and understanding. He is my safe place, here, on earth, no matter what the pain, the battle, the emotion. A true rock, he seems unmoved, though not untouched, by who I am.
I thought of all the mothers sitting in church that morning, or at their tables, with breaking hearts and brave faces. Maybe I was crying for them, because their tears were stopped. It wasn’t really about that horrible scene in my nightmare, I knew that.
Or maybe it was for the mothers still in bed, unable to get up, because of grief…
Or maybe it was for Mrs. Bosma, whose son Tim was taken from his young wife and little daughter… and for Sharlene Bosma, who didn’t have a husband’s shoulder to cry on this Mother’s Day, because of evil… pure evil… committed against her, against them as a family.
My nightmare ended when I awakened. But their nightmare continues, broken, and inconclusive. And I stop writing, to pray, because my heart aches for them. It aches for strangers I have never met, and yet, because I am a mother, and a wife, and a daughter, I feel it deeply. And because, through Tim’s work, I know of people connected to Tim’s family. And somehow that makes it more real.
It’s not the movies, it’s not a news report. It’s broken hearts, carelessly scattered for the world to see, by men with evil plans…. plans to hurt, to harm and to bring pain.
The reality of that evil hits me with a powerful force, like water from a filthy river, knocking the wind of hope from me, for a moment, as I contemplate that evil, and all the suffering mothers.
The words of a wise man, depressed by life, go through my mind… What meaning is there in life… what new thing to look forward to? What has been, will be again, what has been done, will be done again… (Ecclesiastes 1)
And it seems that’s just how it is, and has been, since Abel disappeared, soon after the Garden. The first ‘missing person’ ever reported, when God came to question Cain, and it seems the evil has escalated and multiplied since then, knowing no boundaries, going from sibling rivalry to taking captive an innocent man like, Tim Bosma, with no apparent motive. And the mind can hardly grasp it, when the innocent suffer like that, simply for trusting.
But then I remember again, the Son whose mother stood at the cross, weeping and grieving at His innocent death. I see His body, again, mangled for the love of us, and bleeding hope all over place on that ugly hill. The Hill of Death–Gogatha, the place of the skull–and that hope flows like a river.
It runs down that wicked hill, and keeps flowing until it covers the earth, and fills the dead with its life, wherever it is received. (Ezekiel 47:1-12) And the skeletons and the dry bones, and the corpses of empty existence dip in that river, and they begin to dance, and run. They sing like never before because Hope has touched them…
It is then I realize that my tears come from deep within my spirit, forming a prayer–in a place so deep I cannot express it. A place where words are lost, and only tears speak the language of that place…
And I think maybe they are God’s tears, flowing from my body, showing His heart of compassion. Weeping, not for His Son on the cross–because His Son conquered the cross, conquered death… hell… and the grave. His Son rose again.
It is His tears for His children, who are touched by evil. His tears, for us, because of the consequence of sin. His tears for me, waking from the horrible nightmare and having to see my son like that. His tears for Mrs. Bosma, and Sharlene and her daughter, whose nightmares go on and on…
His tears, falling, and splashing His love and compassion all over us, because He came–Emmanuel, God with us–to suffer, to grieve, to understand the worst of pains that a human can suffer.
Being God, He suffered the grief of watching His Son brutalized. And being Jesus, He suffered the beating, the captivity, and the cross. All this, to understand our sorrow…
So this Mother’s Day weekend–yes, even on Monday, the day after Mother’s Day, because your grief continues–if your mother-heart breaks for any reason at all, my thoughts, my prayers and my tears are with you.
Especially with you, Sharlene and your little princess… and Mrs. Bosma and your family. This evil thing you have suffered should never have happened…
…God’s tears are with you…
Our prayers continue for Tim Bosma’s safe return. And, when you look back on this part of your story, we pray you will see only one set of Footprints, knowing that God carried you through this time.
© Trudy Metzger
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