And that's how Mary felt the morning she went early, to the garden. The closest she could get to Jesus's body. No longer his living breathing soul, she just wanted a reminder of what was good, just, right, and hopeful that he had spoken and been. Crushed, she was. What if? What if everything he said, didn't make a difference?
And that is the central grief. What if all the truth and good was for naught? How could it possibly be? How did this tragedy actually happen? Was it real? If she could just touch him, be near him one last time, might it bolster her pain, ease the emptiness?
She crept through the garden, careless of whether the Romans guards were present. What could they do to her? No more than was already done. She was already dying inside.
The break of dawn shown through the green shrubs. Birds had begun to sing. Their song a strange dissonance to the bleakness inside her. As if they went merry on their way, when all should stop. All should weep together instead of singing. Her Lord was dead. Didn't the birds know that?!
Shaking in anger, weeping for the aching loss and permanent separation she was ready to touch when she reached his body, Mary crept around the stones that guarded his tomb. Ridiculous. She'd not even thought how she would get past the entrance. The rock she knew would stand in her way hadn't crossed her mind. But of course she could never touch him or hear his voice as she had in life. What had made her think it would appease her pain?
And as if that realization hadn't hurt enough, she rounded the last rock next to his tomb to find the entrance agape. His tomb empty. His body vanished. She couldn't even say good bye?! Deep waves of grief bubbled through her tears. Had any of it been true?
"Mary, why are you crying?"
The voice. The words. How scandalous?! Didn't the gardener know that was the worst thing to say to a grieving woman?! What? Was she supposed to just get over it? Didn't he know life was shattered? Ended. Hope crushed.
She turned to face the gardener, ready to unleash her anguish and tell him how it was.
"Mary..." The look. His eyes. Her Lord....
Every broken hope. Every painful breath. Every fainting thought. Rose up in her. "Lord...!"
Oh Mary, show us the way to find my Lord in the garden of life's griefs.
Lord, speak to us scandalously. Shake us out of our certainty that death wins. That evil wins.
Remind us from your risen glory that You have never surrendered to defeat on a cross, in a tomb, beneath the weight of breathlessness. No! Remind us in the midst of every grief that You have this.
We want to cling to that as Mary wanted to cling to you there in the garden. We want to hang onto it. The knowledge, the moment, the proof that you Live! And yet it's fleeting. For You had to ascend to the Father in order to send the Comforter we need.
Oh Comforter, never leave us! Remind us continually of life.
Of victory. Of our Lord's authority over death.
Refill us with hope.
That your peace might remain with us.
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots.Nurse Practitioner by day.Wife, mother, writer by night.Coffee drinker--any time.Find me at: www.anneloveauthor.com