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When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Luke 7:13

A young man lies in a hospital bed fighting for his life as the result of a gunshot to the head. The community and surrounding area hold vigils for his healing. Prayer meetings are held in coffee shops, restaurants and churches. Television news trucks are parked outside the hospital waiting for word on the fight for life.

Inside, a young mom holds vigil over the bed of her husband and the father of her three young children. She cries. She tries to be strong, but can’t. She prays harder than she’s ever prayed before. Minutes stretch into hours and hours stretch into days. Well wishers look for any indication that there is improvement, and sign of hope, but there would be none.

Somewhere near by another mom suffers in silence. Her son was the one who fired the shot. She is the one sitting at a funeral of her little boy who died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Once a hero, now maligned as a vicious offender, this mom suffers in silence. Heartbroken over the death of her son, yet ashamed of his actions, she tries to block out the voices she hears. She avoids being in public because of the stares. Even the few, sincere condolences she receives do little to heal her own pain, not to mention the pain she feels for the other young mom in the hospital holding vigil.

The story in Luke has a much happier ending. This mom, unlike the other two would receive back her loved one. We really know little about her, or the life she lived. We know she was a widow. We know she’d just lost her only son. How old was he? Some versions of the bible say a man, some a boy. Most likely he was a teenager.

Jesus didn’t see the crowd of mourners. His attention wasn’t focused on the stretcher. Luke tells us that “Jesus saw her…” His attention was riveted on this mom who also had just lost her son, her only son. She was alone now. After her husband died, he’d become the man of the house. It was he who would be her assurance of provision into old age. Now he was gone and she was alone.

There is no grief so deep as the grief of a parent whose lost a child, and that wound is deeper for the one who carried the child in her own bosom, bore that child out of pain and nursed it at her breast.

Three moms, three different outcomes, but one Jesus. Only he can offer the comfort a parent needs when tears are shed over a child. Only he can heal the wounds with the oil of his love, because God knows what it’s like to lose a son. No one, regardless of how sincere, can know the pain of a mom (parent) who has lost a child except Jesus. He looks beyond the externals and sees the heart.

PRAYER: Father God. Today I pray for all those parents, especially mom’s, who have lost a child. I pray that they would be comforted through the comfort only your son Jesus Christ can offer. May your Holy Spirit walk with them through the healing they need during a most difficult time. Amen.

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