I imagine this in a whole new light now that I am a mother. When I see my child in pain and suffering there is a part of me that wants to take on that suffering deep within me as if I can ease His suffering. Yet, the only gift I can offer at this moment is my presence. I am nearby, as Mary is, in silent contemplation.
Did she understand what was happening to her Son? Or was this another example of her having to surrender her understanding and simply offer that up to God. Was there a moment when their eyes met where Jesus became the one who reassured her? Which way did the strength move?
She stayed nearby to the end. She was there. Her presence was the only gift she could offer. Help me to remember those times when the gift of my presence will bring the most relief and peace into someone's life.