Day 8 - Easter Sunday

It’s dark... 
Looming in blackness is the sting of a bitter loss that only darkness understands. As she approaches the tomb the cool air sends goosebumps down her body, and the chilling reality of a lost hope causes her to shiver. There is a knot at the bottom of her soul as she prepares her heart for what she might find in the tomb.

Awaits her there. She arrived, afraid, cold, and full of doubt. But something unexpected meets her at her destination. The stone was already moved and there was no body in the tomb. “Where is he?” “Who took him?” 

She runs to get Peter and the other disciple. They return, they looked, and they left “back to where they were staying.” Mary however stayed behind to weep. Jesus can’t be found, and the story feels incomplete. 

Have you ever been in a situation where things just felt incomplete? I must admit this is a difficult place to be in. As a human, like you, I like resolve. I like it when we have neat endings and things have happy endings. I hate feeling uneasy about how “it will all work out.” 

Truth be told, in the darkness is where Easter resurrection took place. There wasn’t a praise team singing songs of joy. There weren’t large crowds gathered to celebrate the rebirth of hope. No feasts, moon bounces, egg hunts, or inspiring sermons. It was in the secret. In the mystery. In the dark. 

God had been moving in the darkness, in the mystery, in the hidden places, away from human witnesses. Life was being awakened in the impossible night.
Mary stays in this awful moment. She is present to her own pain and is fully engaged in the bareness of this moment, this place, this event, this person. She lingers in the brokenness. She waits and wades in the primacy of this reality.

She re-enters the hollow tomb in case she may have missed something, only to discover the arch of this story has changed. The tomb is no longer empty. Whatever happened in the impossible darkness is only now being realized, even if she hadn’t realized it yet. Things have changed but she still couldn’t quite see it, until he said her name, “Mary.”

Because she committed to being present in her struggle, and staying in that moment long enough, she found healing, reconciliation, and a new hope, as Jesus revealed himself to her. She now leaves this place of death, with a renewed life because she has “seen the Lord!” Her testimony is not that God has risen. Instead, her testimony is “I have seen the Lord!”

Too often we’d like to be numb to our failures, losses, and struggles. We run from our pain. We are not present to our reality. We look to distractions to keep us from having to sit with our situation. But, because Mary sat with her reality, she had a chance to see what God had been doing all along in the dark.

This Easter, how have you come to the tomb? What impossible darkness are you experiencing in your life? Where is God working that is hidden from your reality? What part of the Easter story’s arch are you encountering today? Are you present? And most importantly, through it all, “Have you seen the Lord?”

By Iki Taimi

Listen to a reflection on this topic from the One project gathering in Seattle, 2016

Listen to a Special Easter Episode of the Saltworks Podcast

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