As Jesus carried his cross through the city of Jerusalem to Golgotha, he was surrounded by people. But, obviously, he was also extremely isolated. The male disciples had betrayed or abandoned him. The crowd had turned against him. The religious authorities had condemned him. The Roman authorities had washed their hands of him. His executioners were mocking and torturing him.
But Jesus’ mother didn’t abandon him. The Bible records the fact that Mary was present at her son’s execution. And legend tells it that she met him along the route to Golgotha. The moment of their meeting has been imagined many times throughout history in art and in film. There is always a sense of intimacy and love drawing Jesus and Mary together and a sense of distance between them—they are being held apart and cannot embrace, cannot say all the words they want to say, cannot take the time they need.
This photograph was taken by Al Bello on May 24, 2020 in Wantagh, NY. It shows Michelle Grant hugging her mother Mary Grace Sileo through a sheet of plastic. It was the first time they had had physical contact of any kind with one another since the lockdown had begun there in February. They are being held apart by a lockdown, by a virus, by a plastic drop cloth. But despite it all their love has drawn them as close together as they can be.
Let us pray:
God of the just right, keep us far enough apart to keep us safe. Draw us close enough together to keep us together. Amen.
Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations