In Israel, I visited a site in Bethlehem called the Milk Grotto, where, according to tradition, Mary and Joseph took shelter.
While Mary was breastfeeding Jesus, a drop of her milk fell, turning the rock there milky white. Now, many women who visit take powder from the rock believing it can help increase lactation and fertility. What most impressed me, however, was a statue above the entrance and paintings located inside, all of Mary breastfeeding Jesus, an image I’d never seen in a church.
It is heartwarming to imagine Jesus suckling from his mother’s breast. Let us imagine that we are that baby and God is our mother, having conceived us in Eden, grown strong in the womb of the garden, then expelled from its gates to enter the wilderness of the world.
Though, we may now feel we are alone in this worldly wilderness, we are never abandoned in our struggle.
“In the Arms of God” by Veronica Garcia-Robles, from the March 2013 Gather magazine.