Three Days: A Mother's Story
speaking—Jesus’s words were that powerful and that profound! Perhaps what touched me most the first time I sat and listened to him speak was when he gave what I later considered the “Blessed” sermon. Of course, I know his words are for everyone, but somehow I felt he was speaking directly to me that day. His promises were like a soothing balm for my aching heart.
     
“Blessed are you when you realize you are spiritually impoverished,
    for you will have the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when you mourn,
    for you shall receive comfort.
Blessed are you when you are humble and meek,
    for you shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for
righteousness,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you when you show mercy,
    for you will be shown mercy.
Blessed are you when your heart is pure,
    for you shall see God.
Blessed are you when you make peace,
    for you will be called God’s own children.
Blessed are you when you are persecuted for my sake,
    for the kingdom of heaven will be yours.”
    And on and on he continued throughout the day. Now, if he had been a mere man, or even just a prophet, I imagine the crowd would have thinned eventually. People would have tired of listening and simply gone home or in pursuit of some other diversion. But as the day progressed, the crowd only grew larger and larger, until there must have been thousands.
    “He is astonishing,” said a woman to my right. “He must truly be the Son of God.”
    I nodded, then turned my eyes back to Jesus. But for a brief moment I felt a ripple of fear running through my soul. Was that pride I was experiencing as I watched my son preaching? I had so hoped to be done with that by now. But, upon more careful examination, I realized that it was only a feeling of awe—just pure and simple awe. His words were that inspiring!
    Even as I wait here, knowing that his lifeless body lies in the tomb, I am still inspired by his words. His death does not change the truth he spoke. I only wish I could understand why Jehovah has allowed him to be silenced like this. To me, it seems all wrong. But then I am not the one who controls the universe. I know I must trust Jehovah in his wisdom. I must believe that good will arise out of evil. Please, God, help my unbelief.
    I glance around the room where we are still gathered. There is some comfort in not being alone on this dark day, and I can see that others are struggling in their spirits, perhaps even more than I. This has been a very long day for everyone. God, in his mercy, has shrouded the sunlight for most of the day. But I can tell by the dusky light now filtering through the clouds on the western horizon that this second day of waiting is drawing to an end. I do not know what we thought might happen here today. But I can tell that discouragement is growing with the darkness.
    Simon Peter seems the most lost. His eyes are draped in sadness, and this usually robust and fiery fisherman appears broken and weary and very old today. John told me earlier that Peter is grieving deeply, not only over the loss of his Lord, but also for the fact that he denied knowing Jesus three times yesterday.
    “But Jesus told him it would happen just that way,” John explained to me in a hushed voice. “Peter should not be so hard on himself.”
    I nodded. “I think we are all examining our hearts right now.”
    I knew there were no words I could say to Peter, nothing I could do to ease his pain. But I paused on my way going outside, and, placing my hand on one of his broad shoulders, I looked directly into his eyes. I wanted to tell him that he must know that Jesus has already forgiven him. How could Jesus, the one who taught us so much about forgiveness, not forgive his dear friend? But I also knew that, in the same way a fisherman shakes off the spray from the sea, Peter would only shake off my words. Even so, I hope the look in my eyes conveyed my son’s

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