Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | July 27, 2010

Pain of a parent

Please welcome my guest blogger, Erin Coss, who has written today’s post. At the end of today’s post you can find out more about some free books Erin is giving away.

The Pain of a parent

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25

I believe that there are two emotions that most women feel upon the birth of their first child: an overwhelming sense of love and vulnerability. At first all you want to do is hold your newly born infant and never let go. This is partly because your love for your child is so strong that you want to hold onto that feeling forever. It is also partly because you suddenly realize that this baby is your responsibility and instinct sets in. You think, “Beware to the person that dares touch one hair on my perfect child’s head.”

It’s hard for me to imagine standing in Mary’s sandals that day. I’m sure she felt alone, depressed, anxious, scared, and——without a doubt——heartbroken. This was most likely her darkest hour. Her first-born son, whom she spent years trying to protect, cherish, teach, and love, was about to die; and she had no control over it. I’m sure of it: Her heart was broken.

She was not the only parent that day who felt heartbroken. I can’t even begin to picture our dear Father in heaven, looking below upon His Son as He hung on the cross ready to be separated from Him for a time. This was His Son, the One we hear Him speaking of in Mark 1:11: “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'”

We know from the Scriptures that our God is one of emotion. I’m sure He had His own gamut of emotions that He experienced on this the darkest day in history:

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:37-39

Sometimes when we are around grieving parents, we can feel their pain. Do you think this centurion felt the Lord’s? As he stood in darkness——for it says in Luke that the sun stopped shining and Matthew 27:51 states, “The earth shook and the rocks split”——did he feel the physical pain of our Father?

I can’t help but think that this verse shows to some extent our Father’s emotion displayed for all to see. In the Hebrew culture when one of their own died, it was customary for people to tear their clothes. Three of the gospels give accounts that the temple curtain was torn in two at the death of Christ. The symbolism here is clear to biblical scholars. This is when we see that the divide between God and man has been removed.

I can’t help but wonder if it also has another meaning. This is where men went to meet physically with God, face to face. This piece of cloth shrouded the area where men knew He was present. Could this also be a symbol of our dear Father tearing His clothes over the death of His son? Hmmm, I just wonder.

Dear Friend, today God knows your pain. He knows what it’s like to have a child and want to protect that child at all costs. God easily could have saved His Son, but He wouldn’t allow it for our sake. We try with all our hearts to protect our children from the greatest of harm. The emotions that run through us are overwhelming at a mere bump or scratch. But our Father knows. You are not alone.

I pray today that those of you who know the fear of protecting a child and the gamut of emotions that follow when harm does come will find peace in the One who never leaves you alone, who knows your every thought, fear, and emotion. He will carry you through the hard times. Find comfort in the One who knows:

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, 3 though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. . . . 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3, 7

Praise be to God, who knows the pain of a parent!

He is our refuge and strength!

Erin Coss has very generously offered books to giveaway to two of my readers.  No Mailing Restrictions!  Just comment here on this post with your email address to enter.  This giveaway ends July 31.

To find out more about Erin’s new book,   A Tidbit Romance:  Falling in love with God’s Word one devotion at a time, you can visit her website at:



  1. Erin’s insite is so clear & wonderful to read…easy for any person to understand, I love to read her writing.

    • Naomi,

      You win a copy of this book…but I need your email address to get the information to you.

      Can you please email me at: with your email information?

      Thanks for visiting the blog, and congrats on being a winner!

  2. Hi, I would love to win a copy of this book! It sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win! I’ve been wanting a copy of it! 🙂 purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

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