Erin McCole Cupp contemplates how to follow Mary's example of trust, even in the most unimaginable circumstances.
I can’t imagine how she did it. Mary saw her Son slandered, betrayed, abandoned by all He called His closest friends, then saw Him delivered over by religious authorities to be tortured to death by the government.
She did this without once cursing, lashing out, throwing threats, praying for God to cast these abusers into hell, or worse. Not one mark of vengeance was wrought by her lips, hands, or face. Not one sin was committed by Mary in the face of the greatest sins ever to be committed, all against her most beloved child, her most beloved God.
So how did she do it? How did she keep her own peace — no, God’s peace — alive in her mind, body, and soul, while all about her, to all living senses, evidence was that there was no such thing as an indefatigable peace, not when God could be captured, mutilated, shamed, and murdered in front of a bloodthirsty crowd?
How did she keep her cool when all the best the world had ever seen was making a descent into literal hell? I can barely keep four-letter words from escaping my lips when I stub my pinky toe on the coffee table.
So I ask myself how she did it, but I also must ask myself why I do the things I do? Why do I let my words and actions sink into impurity when I’m inconvenienced, abandoned, insulted, and legitimately hurt, either by others or just by plain old indifferent circumstances?
Of course, if I’m rigorously honest with myself, I know the answer. I sin because I’m not getting my way. The funny thing is, even if my way is objectively just — God wants me to be sinned against even less than I do — I still fall into sin when I find myself cursing, lashing out, throwing threats, praying for God to cast my abusers into hell, or worse.
This is because I don’t trust God. I don’t trust God to deliver justice, because I want justice served in my time to my specifications. Never mind that I can’t know God’s greater plan, God’s idea of justice, an idea that embraces mercy and compassion while setting all things right.
Mary, however, did trust God’s plan above hers, because her idea of justice was keeping vengeance in God’s hands, not hers.
That’s how she did it. And that’s how the rest of us must, too. My way must become Mary’s way, which was God’s way all along.
Copyright 2021 Erin McCole Cupp
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