Marriage at Cana by Giotto
Here’s the thing I’m learning about motherhood: it is all about having faith. It’s about having faith that you can make it through the rigors of pregnancy and delivery, or the emotional ups-and-downs of the adoption process. It’s about having faith that you will be able to handle the countless demands of an eight-pound bundle of crying newborn neediness, even though you’ve never actually spent much time around babies before. It’s about having faith that your kid will make it through the first fever, the first stomach flu, the first trip to the ER — and that you will make it through all those events, too.
And, most of all, it’s about having faith that your child will one day do things you have never seen them do before. Smiling, laughing, sleeping through the night, walking, talking, using the potty, riding a bike, reading — as moms, we know in our gut that our kids will one day reach these milestones. Often we have no evidence to support that knowledge … just that solid core of faith that someday, it will happen.
It occurred to me, several months ago, that this is exactly why I like the story of the Wedding at Cana. There they are at a wedding reception, mother and son, and the wine runs out. Mary points this out to Jesus, in the full confidence that he will be able to do something about it. How does she know this? It’s not like she’s ever seen him do a miracle before. He hasn’t been taking classes or practicing in his room at home. All she has is the faith of a mom, the faith that her child has the ability to do something he has never done before. She’s amazingly confident in the fact that he can do it, and that he can do it now. And thanks to her confidence and encouragement, the water becomes wine, the reception is saved, and the party goes on.
I love that.
And I also love the full-circle aspect of this story. All along, Mary was there to witness her son’s firsts: his first smile, first laugh, first steps, first words. It is perfectly fitting that she is there for his first miracle, too, nudging him into it, having utter faith that the little boy who had so many firsts is now a man who is ready to bust out with the most amazing one of all.