Have you ever lost a child? I lost my two-year old son one sunny Sunday afternoon when a few mothers from church decided to take our children to a carnival. The group was walking along when suddenly I couldn’t find my son.
My sister and I frantically retraced our path asking everyone if they had seen a little boy with a burr haircut. No one had seen him. I dreaded telling my husband how I had lost his son.
A few minutes later I saw him standing under the Ferris wheel just watching the people go around. When I ran up and grabbed him, he couldn’t understand all the tears. He didn’t realize he was lost.
When I hear the story of Mary losing her twelve year old son in the temple, I recall the fear I felt that day. I can’t imagine how Mary must have felt.
We had lost Jesus—the son God had entrusted to our care.
This trip was special to Mary because at the age of twelve
Jesus will soon graduate from one of the schools of the synagogue of Nazareth. He will be presented to us by the rulers as a responsible citizen of Israel.
Joseph searched throughout their caravan to no avail. Jesus could not be found. With no other choice they headed back to Jerusalem in search of their lost son. Did Mary not worry knowing this was God’s son and He would take care of him? Not quite--she was a mother.
The roads are not safe and I knew something bad had happened for Jesus not to come to our site. I repeatedly apologized to God for losing His precious son.
When Mary found him, I am sure she was as relieved as I was.
I wanted to rush to him with hugs and kisses before I scolded him for not staying with us.
Did Mary forget who Jesus was? If she did, Jesus reminded her.
He looked me straight in the eyes and respectfully asked, “Mother, why were you searching for me? Don’t you know that I must be about my father’s business?”
As any mother today, Mary worried for her lost son. Nothing can replace the bond between a mother and a child.
He is still my flesh and blood. My heart will always have a special place for him.
It doesn’t matter how confident we are that God has us in the palm of his hands, there are times when worry is the only thing a mother knows to do. We easily forget that the angels who watch over our children are the same ones who sat at God’s throne every day.
Mary is the author of Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life