From four years ago….
I don’t like to wait. I try to find ways to avoid waiting. Call ahead. Go do something else and come back when the line is shorter. I especially don’t like to wait when I don’t know how long the wait will be. That’s what it feels like to be left, to wait for the unknown. When leaving, I think about the future, to what comes next. It’s exciting. When left, I think about the future, too, but what comes next? I know not.
The tomb scene in John spoke to my heart this week as I contemplate the departures of a few friends and teammates. Mary came to the tomb early and left late. She saw the men come and stoop to look inside and then they returned home. She, too, looked and saw emptiness inside, I suppose. The text doesn’t say specifically. She was left, so she thought, but she lingered anyway, weeping and waiting.
I don’t like to wait or to weep. I don’t like to be left.
But, then she stooped and looked again where others looked before and saw nothing. Amazing. Why did she look again? I don’t know but if I were her, why would I look again? I want to see. I want more. I want a different reality. Maybe I’d think that if I looked one more time, just once more before I left I could leave and go home and start to fill the emptiness on my own, sure that there was nothing left to wait for anymore. The act of stooping to look again is so full of faith.
She stooped and looked weeping and she saw angels…heard angels, spoke with angels! She saw the Risen Christ, clung to Him, and He gave her a message to pass on. For others who came and went, the tomb lay empty, just empty. But for Mary, who waited and wept and stooped to look again, the empty tomb became a place of joy and comfort and hope and purpose. The emptiness of feeling left by the Lord filled up with so much more.
So, I wait weeping more and more. I stoop to look in the emptiness and wait for His explanation of the reality I feel so deeply. He fills the emptiness more and more with the comfort, joy, and hope in His Word. And, He challenges my view of reality.
I am not left. I am not alone. The emptiness of the tomb is the reality but the explanation for what my eyes see is far from empty.