Friday, 14 April 2017

Mary Magdalene

Approaching the Tomb

Mary of Magdala

It is quiet.
Away from the weeping
and the brokenness of home.
The Sabbath was so difficult.
How could we pray the prayers of adoration?
We did, but choking on the words
And despairing at the responses.
The candles seemed foreign.
They are defiant symbols here now.
Our life, our hope, our heritage –
All seems lost in the Roman hell,
Where even our own
Turn their backs on the Lord.
So much for John’s words of repentance!

Carrying the aromatics,
I stumble along.
I wonder if he knew I would do
this one last act for him?
I hope he drew some comfort
from our love, from knowing
we stayed to the end.

Who walks among the tombs?
It is not Joseph the Arimithean…
Only gravediggers and gardeners around here.
I feel like telling them to “go away”
and leave us in quiet,
But I fear we may need help with the stone.
It was heavy and took strength to put in place.
I keep my eye out to see if the poles are there
To help us leverage that rock.

Behold! It is rolled aside!
No – my Lord – who has desecrated your resting?
We approach and discover he is gone.
This holy hole is empty and bereft,
Much like our spirits.

I must find Peter.
He will know what the Lord would want.
Peter and the others return with me.
Their eyes see what I have seen.
They run away and leave me there.

I start to sob.
A couple of gasps at first.
Then the weeping comes.
My body shakes
with the anger and frustration
of this moment and of all the moments
of the last days.
Every fibre of my being is shaking
with the torment.
Is there any way to honour him now?

“Woman, why are you weeping?” comes the voice.
What would the gardener know of this pain?
What would he know?
What might he know
Of who has been here?
Perhaps he can help.

“They have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have laid him,”
I pushed out, in between sobs.
I was prepared to plead, hoping he knew.
The voice belonged to a man who repeated,
“Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
I tried to beg him,
“Sir, if you have carried him away,
tell me where you have laid him,
and I will take him away.”
Then, he spoke again, saying my name.
My breathing stopped.
My tears stilled.
The my body erupted as I cried out to him,
He stepped back,
not letting me touch him yet,
claiming his time was still coming.
I could not reach and I could not move.
Now… it didn't matter.
Lazarus was not the only body to rise.
Today the Lord has changed all things.
Today life is different.
Today is the beginning of the rest of time.

(Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:9, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18)

© 2017, A.Koh-Butler

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