Stand by Me

Lou Lotz

Read: John 19:23-27

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. (v. 25)

It has been my custom, over the years, to read a poem every day. One day last week I chose Rudyard Kipling’s “Mother o’ Mine”: “If I were hanged on the highest hill, / . . . / I know whose love would follow me still, / Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

Who does Jesus see when he looks down from the cross, through a blur of pain? His own brothers and sisters were not there. With one exception his disciples were not there. Neither were the people whose sight he restored and whose bodies he healed. Nor the lepers he cleansed, nor the demoniacs he restored to wholeness and health. But his mother was there. The Gospel says that Mary was “standing by” the cross.

When you are going through a hard time, you need people to come and stand by you. They don’t solve your problems or take away your pain. But if they stand by you in your suffering, it means a lot. Also, notice that Mary never speaks. After a lifetime of ministry, trying to stand by people who are going through a terrible ordeal, I have learned that often you don’t have to say anything. It’s your presence that counts. People seldom remember the words you speak when you visit the funeral home, but they never forget that you came. —Lou Lotz

As you pray, consider someone in your life who is suffering and how you can stand with them.