She knew he was different. Her earliest memories suggested so. Perhaps it was the way he responded when she’d call him in from the day or how he would idle the hours away hunting for the perfect leaf, skipping stones or singing with the birds that always gathered. He was creative, sensitive not one for active sports always one to pitch in to help others. He was a Mother’s son. They were close.
As he grew his difference seemed to grow too. By the time he was 9 or 10 she remembers him running in crying that others called him names, refusing to include him and pushing him around. As his Mother during these years their treatment seemed odd but so did his response.
Not because he ran and cried but because of what he’d say. Where her impulse was to call their Mothers, be angered by their mistreatment, his was always wanting to know more about how to be their friend.
“What am I to do Mother,’ he’d cry, ‘I want to be their friend. I want them to like me. I want them to know I like them.”
As he continued to grow she became increasingly worried about his difference. The world was never accepting and receiving of him.
“There is only so much protecting a mother can do” she thought, as she toiled in the kitchen.
She recalls one time during Passover, the year the family made their way to Jerusalem, when all his difference became evident for any there to see. They no sooner arrived and he was off; not with the other children but making his way to the Temple where the adults, religious leaders were.
While he were there he not only joined the adults but participated. He stepped into bigger shoes than his little feet could fill and he walked and talked with an interest and wisdom that caught everyone’s attention.
When she found him there after three days searching, she retrieved him, safely returning him to the family. She told him how worried she was. How she couldn’t find him and didn’t expect to see him there among the adults revealing his difference with every word he’d say and question he’d ask.
“Everyone knows!’ She cried, ‘you have given us great anxiety and finding you here, why, everyone will be talking about this.”
Not to her surprise he stated, “I needed to go. I belong in my Father’s house. I need to step into who I truly am over how you need me to be. If I don’t? If I don’t fully embrace all of who I am on the inside, than I’d be denying my Father, the one who made me.”
She was confused by what he was saying. She wondered. Pondering his words the rest of the way back home she realized the truth of them and decided,
“The bravest thing any one of us can do in life is be who we are meant to be.”
And with that she decided not to talk more of it. She decided to treasure all these things in her heart.
Inspired by: Luke 2:41-52 and being a mother to a gay son. Image: http://www.cuinsight.com/mother-knows-best.html