Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wrestling With Wonder when Life Goes Awry

Hi Friends,

Some good news -- Wrestling with Wonder (my book that focuses on the journey of Mary, Jesus' Mother) has been selected as a Kindle monthly deal for May (yay!), so if you haven't gotten your ebook version yet, now's the time!! Looks like it's offered for $1.99 all month.  Great read for Mother's Day!

Here's the link: http://amzn.to/26MbGbY 

And below is an excerpt from the chapter when Mary takes baby Jesus to the Temple and Simeon takes the baby in his arms and says to Mary: "Look! this child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that is opposed. And a sword will pierce through your own soul also. So the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2)  

This is what it meant for Mary to be a mother, for her follow in the will of God. I hope it encourages you, especially when you feel as if a sword is piercing your soul…

And yet ... Simeon is not finished. His blessing does not end with the sword. Instead, with a single, small word, he gives us new vision and a new hope. “A sword will pierce your own soul,” he says, “so that ...” In the Greek, it’s a tiny conjunction: hopos. Most simply, it means “in order that.” But in reality, it means so much more. It means that everything Simeon has spoken of—division, opposition, and the piercing of the soul—doesn’t happen for nothing. There is purpose in the pain. There is meaning in the suffering. And that matters. It happens not just so Mary can suffer, so we can suffer, but it happens “so that ...”
            So yes, Mary was called to suffer. But not for suffering’s sake, but for a purpose—for revelation. “So that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed,” Simeon says, using the same word that appeared just a few verses above when he sang that Jesus would be a light of revelation (apocalypto, in the Greek) to the Gentiles. Revelation: meaning something we cannot know unless God himself shows us. We can’t see it unless he pulls back the curtain with his own hand. This is a seeing, an understanding, that comes through the work of God himself, God alone.
            And according to the Spirit’s words through Simeon, revelation comes through suffering,
through the sword that pierces all the way to the soul. Through suffering, the thoughts of our hearts are revealed. Through suffering we see the hand of God.
            Our souls are laid bare in our suffering.
            And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
            There is purpose in the pain.

            So is Mary intended to suffer? Are you? Am I? Simeon says yes. It is part of walking with him, being his. Falling, rising, division, opposition, rejection, piercing pain ... leading to revelation.