It’s no accident that I sit near this icon each time I attend Orthodox services-the Theotokos, God-bearer, Mother of Christ. Today after a particularly hard morning with my children I sat here, on the feast of Theophany and let her minister to me without words.
What draws me into this icon, truly, is the way Jesus presses his face into hers. All of my kids do this and it’s so often the sweetest part of our day. Sadly, it can also feel stifling, overwhelming. I believe, like all children, even Jesus as a child felt this strong need to press into his mother. I believe too, like all mothers, the Theotokos must have felt the tension of that need. She, unlike the rest of us, understood a greater, deeper tension and for that I know God must have granted her enormous grace and peace. This is not to say that I think she did not have her bad days, bad moments, bad responses but rather, the grace and peace that is present when we pull ourselves together is there for the taking. I have to believe that…it’s vital, it’s the only hope I can ask when things are hard.