The story of how Jesus raised a young boy from death, the only son of his widowed mother, is very special to me. This poor woman represents the Jewish vision of the ultimate calamity – for the Jew, sons, plenty of sons, were the surest sign of God’s blessing – the family line would continue and prosper. To the eyes of her fellow villagers, this woman was doubly damned by God, until of course, Jesus came into her life…
Was this a son of God who came to me today?
I’m just a simple peasant – who am I to say?
The priests and nobles may laugh me to scorn,
But to tell the truth – I feel reborn!
My dear husband died just six months gone,
And then my precious, darling, only son.
I screamed at heaven to spare him so,
But die he did – no greater, crueller blow.
Was this a son of God who gave me back my son?
Nothing that a mortal has surely ever done?
The priests and nobles, at my door, contest,
They probe and vex why I should be so blest?
A byword for desolation,
All around me proffered consolation.
Empathy, sympathy, all very well,
But bereft and alone, I lived in hell.
Was this a son of God who touched the grave bound cart,
With true medicine for my sundered heart?
The priests and nobles crowding round my place;
Shouting, ranting, their fingers in my face.
Don’t get me wrong, my neighbours really cared;
Weeping with me, while grateful they were spared.
But have no doubt, I speak from bitter fact,
There is no balm to heal death’s vile impact.
Was this a son of God who graced our village street?
Who enfleshed good news – I kiss his sacred feet!
The priests and nobles: “Blasphemy! Disgrace!”;
While scrabbling for evidence to frame their case.
I’m immune to their taunts, held high with joy,
I have been given back my sweet little boy!
A day will come when we are parted once more,
But now I can see a future blest shore.
Was this a son of God, whose time was all too brief,
Whose words and manner vanquished all my grief?
The priests and nobles have no conviction;
They creep away murmuring ‘crucifixion’.
May I make bold to echo Jesus’ word?
To see death as the end is plain absurd.
This life is wonderful, crucial and key,
But we are graced for immortality.
It WAS a son of God who passed by here today!
Bringing life and joy in place of grim dismay.
Nothing can fill the void that death has blighted,
Save that dead and living be reunited!