We have had some tumultuous times with the young men in our house lately. The struggles of growing up have caused a lot of heart-ache and conflict, and I know I can’t fix their problems anymore…they are young men after all. While it is hard to watch them be hurt because they dance their individual dances and others don’t like them for it, I know that in the long run they will be so much better men because of it. In those moments after someone has bullied them, or acted cruelly and I think my heart will break…just for a moment, I think of Mary. I try and imagine what must have been going through her head in the days following her son’s arrest and then the moments leading up to his death. How would I feel after being blessed with this great gift and watch as his ministry unfolded only to seem to collapse at the last moment? How could she handle those that betrayed and abused him, and be powerless while he went through the degradation and pain of his torture and death? When I measure her faith against mine, I am obviously found wanting. But as much as her faith was great, I never wanted to rationalize my way around my own limitations by putting her in another category of super human to which no one could ever come close… because it just doesn’t seem fair. I don’t ever want to devalue how difficult it must have been to continue having faith that God knew what he was doing, that her son knew what he was doing. Her great faith in such a horrendous time, gives me faith to tolerate the simple growing pains that my children go through. Sure, I still want to beat anyone who hurts them into a pile of mushy organic matter, but then I breathe and have faith in those difficult lessons that help us grow, and in turn give us even greater faith in our future. Hopefully my sons will learn that it is the times of the greatest pain, when faith is most necessary.