We are the bride of Christ, therefore, I am the bride of her Son.
I know this son to be precious to her heart. Her beloved. Her reason for being. She held him in her womb, and her arms, and treasures him in her heart. They have a bond I will never be a part of. Yet he has chosen me, US, to be his bride, and the wonder of this is not lost on me.
I wonder how she sees me.
I know I can never be worthy of the love of her son. He's such an amazing man of honor and faith. I am like the lost stray puppy he has taken in, and I wonder if that's what she sees when she looks at me. I wonder if she sees the muddy messes I have rolled around in. I wonder if she notices where my ribs stick out from lack of nutrition from feeding on the stuff of this world, instead of from the Word of God. I'm certain she envisioned some beautiful creature that was filled with grace and compassion, not this imperfect, broken, common woman I know myself to be. I wonder if she had hoped for someone smarter, a better mother, a better homemaker. I'm stubborn and hard to get along with. I repeat my mistakes. I am not the woman every Jewish mother has in mind.
Yet, here I am. Her daughter-in-law.
I have a deep respect for His mother. She may have initially had fears about this bride's ability to care for her son in a way he deserves, but she knows how deeply I love him. She is aware of my quirks and weaknesses, but she sees how his love for me (and our love for each other) fixes everything. She trusts her son and his ability to see inside the hearts of those he loves and see their potential. She knows his choice is always the right one. Even when it hurts her. Even to the Cross. Even when it becomes a sword, piercing her own heart.
Yet, sometimes I hold her at a distance. My fear of her disapproval makes me put up a shield to protect myself, and now I realize that this is only hurting me. I realize that she loves me because of her son. He has given her to me as a mother of my own, and I long to grow so close that we drop the "in-law" at the end, and I can call her "Mother".
She only wants her son to be loved and valued and seen for the treasure he is. That's all she's ever wanted. That's what every mother-in-law wants. Why would Mary be any different? She only wants us to love him like he loves us, his Church. His Bride. His chosen Beloved.