Amanda Martinez Beck

We have all seen the work of Michaelangelo, the Pieta, our Mother holding her dead and broken son. A poor shepherdess embracing her little wounded sheep, his once spotless coat soaked in blood, encrusted with dirt and muck. Mary had a little lamb…

The darkness off the Friday we now call ‘good’…her heart pierced again, a deeper wound than she ever thought possible when Simeon spoke to her of swords and treasure so long ago. 

John held her after the body was buried. She was too grieved to walk upright. Reunited with the others who were in Jerusalem, grief and tears gave way to a dreamless sleep, and the apostles had some small comfort that Mary would get a bit of relief from the pain of her loss, of their loss. 

But in the early morning on the Sabbath, before the sun rose, Mary awoke, confused at first. But then she remembered. And she wept. Not the deep and loud tears of yesterday, but hot, big tears than ran down her face, quiet as the snow. 

She breathed in deep. “Why this way, God?”

The answer didn’t come in words, but in a sense of oneness with the God who gave Jesus to her in the first place. And even today, in her rawness and in her mother grief, she offered the same ‘yes’ that she offered decades ago.

She breathed out slowly, and hope started to warm in her heart, even though she couldn’t see farther than one step ahead. She knew that God was good, and grief and hope mingled together, like the water and blood that flowed from the side of her son. 

And if she were a mother given to song, I imagine she might have lifted up her memories and her voice, singing… 

I took some thread and started weaving

A robe for him to wear as he traveled along

Telling us of the kingdom at hand

Purple, blue, most beautiful colors of my loom

I loved him and I wanted to show him 

And so I started my work

How was I supposed to know 

that they’d take the seamless garment I made him

Cast their lots, divide the spoils 

as they nailed him to that tree?

But this love doesn’t ask for silver and gold

The foolish things of this world will shame the wise ones

And so I let them go

I remember him when he was little 

Bright eyes, so curious

We raised him and he grew in wisdom and strength

And as he grew, I knew he was more

Than the fruit of my womb

But to let him go right now

Is too hard to bear

How was I supposed to know

That the road he’d walk would be so painful

The sword piercing my heart…

I didn’t know it would be this hard

But this love doesn’t ask for more

Than it is willing to give

He’s my son,

But he’s your son, too

The works of my hands

I only wanted to be in your plan

But as things seem to fall apart

It’s not the way I thought they would be

How was I supposed to know

That your plans would be so much better than mine

And through the darkness and the pain

The Resurrection still awaits

And oh, to see you on that day!

Because your love takes me to the place

Where oil and new grain aboundBeyond what I can imagine

Amanda Martinez Beck is a storyteller and fat activist on a mission to help people embrace the goodness of their bodies. She is the co-founder of the Ruah Storytellers Podcast. In addition to cohosting the Fat & Faithful Podcast, she is the author of Lovely: How I Learned to Embrace the Body God Gave Me. Follow her on Instagram(@your_body_is_good) and visit her website to learn more about the Good Body Initiative.

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