• Sarah Raad


When the Lord saw her, He was moved with compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not cry.’” (Luke 7:13).

The Raising of the Widow's Son in Nain (Jan Verhas)

The other day, on Mother’s Day – after many many months of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy and practise, practise, practise at home, my beautiful little niece – who is almost two years old – took her first steps, walking unassisted for the first time!

When my sister shared this wonderful news with our family, our joy was overwhelming! In fact, I believe that we experienced more joy over those first few faltering steps of that one little girl than we had over all the hundreds of other steps of all the other grandchildren in our quite sizeable family.

And I have been reflecting on this fact, because it is not a reflection of our INFERIOR love for the other children in our family, it is rather, a reflection of the SUERPIOR efforts of this child (and her mother and aunt) in achieving this wonderful long-sought-after developmental milestone!

And I have been reflecting on this wonderful development as I have been reflecting on a certain passage of the Gospel, because it occurred to me that they are one and the same – in a way…

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10).

You see, in the past I have reflected on that passage of the Gospel with merely human insight. Why – I asked myself – would a repentant sinner be rejoiced-over – possibly more joyfully – than the soul who sinned less to begin with? After all – I told myself – the text of the Gospel surely implied such a thing…

How silly I used to be (I still am sometimes)! Now, it seems so simple to understand that the reality is quite the opposite, especially now that I can see the walking of my little niece. You see, the point that Christ was making through that parable of the woman and the coin, is that the angels in Heaven – and God Himself – sees the efforts we make! And as God’s intention is for ALL souls to be saved, every single repentant sinner is a great triumph in the Heavenly Court!

And that makes perfect sense to me. Because in our family we want every one of the children to be able to walk – and to run too… And that means that we rejoice with great joy when a child who struggled a little more than the others takes her first steps. And this is how it should be, because just as our Heavenly Family wants everyone to be saved, rejoicing with supernatural joy when one sinner repents, so too do we rejoice when a little one starts walking…

And anyway, there is great reason to rejoice in this for my Beloved has heard a mother’s prayers for this child. And Christ is moved to compassion by a mother’s prayers, and I know this because He proved this at Nain when he raised the widow’s son from the dead… “He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow, and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, He was moved with compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not cry.’” (Luke 7:12-13).

How much I love my Beloved for saving a mother some tears by having compassion about a bit of walking… How much I love Him…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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