A parent’s heart

This week I drove by such a sad sight – a mother opossum had been hit by a car and was still lying dead in the road. Her arms were frozen in a position outstretched toward the side of the road where as I passed, my glance saw a very small matching fur body lying still, most likely her baby. I’m having difficulty shaking the image from my mind . . .

The angst of a mother, or father, who cannot protect their child, the willingness of a parent to die for their child, is real. HaShem has wired us that way. How Miriam/Mary must have suffered as she watched her son Yeshua’s suffering and death. He gave us the example Himself dying on the cross for us, His children.

My bobbe told a really horrible story to us as children, now that I think of it from the perspective of an adult. I guess it’s like a Yiddisha fairy tale but way worse than Grimm, like really grim. She would tell us of the little boy who killed his mother, cut out her heart, and as he was running with it, the heart said, “Careful, mein kind (child), don’t fall and hurt yourself.” Okay, I know that’s twisted to tell a child, but that’s the way it was growing up with an Eastern European Jewish grandmother. The point was to emphasize how much a mother loves her child.

Given the intensity of this bond, the model of sacrificial love so wired into our very beings, it is understandable how when this plan fails, havoc can result. We hear stories of abused or unloved children as adults struggling throughout their lifetimes as a result of not being loved by their parents. A fractured childhood scars deeply, often resulting in a lifetime of work to remedy, if at all. HaShem’s plan and example were for beautifully sacrificial parental love. The evil one’s manipulations and mankind’s choices, however, often create dysfunction in these relationships so that few of us experience fully what was intended.

For this very reason, that we are human and not God, we can look to the model HaShem has given us, that of His love for us, a love so perfectly giving of self that He chose to come among us through His Son Yeshua to die for us. Our Abba is our perfect Father. The parent in my bobbe’s fractured fairy tale ironically is not far from the example of our Abba. After the mother in the story has been killed by her child, she still looks out lovingly for his safety. Even after Yeshua is killed by mankind. He still forgives us, loves us, and wants us to be safe in His arms.

As this Father’s Day approaches, whether you are a grandfather, a father, an uncle, a mentor, and for you moms too, may you be encouraged and look to Him for guidance as you love those placed preciously in your path.

Shabbat shalom.


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