Broken

Mary arrived early at the tomb to clean up the broken body;

wrap it with soft cloth and spice.

Jesus forbad it.

       Hands off.        Don’t touch.

Broken punctured twisted bloodied naked shredded skin

A glorified body

presented to God in all its brokenness

visible to friends: see my hands, my feet, my side

Don’t hold on to me, Mary.

The world must see me just like this.

You cannot clean him up, Mary.

Let’s all stop trying to wash away the blood

and spice up the body broken.

Lest we all start believing the lie that people are basically good…

That the arc of human nature bends toward justice…

It is the disfigured figure of innocence savagedly razed to life

that testifies against the human race: a depraved race.

Holy Love embodied walks on calloused heels searching out the concentration camps of the soul:

unblinded eyes see the self-haters forgiven who embrace the leprosy-free as they dance with the lame-no-more.

Only one punishment to fit this crime against humanity:

Crucify Him.

No, Mary, you cannot clean him up.

      We must see Him as he is

as we made him

         or we will never believe it is true –

                        in denial

that we are the darkness we fear

               disguised as angels of light.

BrokenBody

Creator of the universe,
you made the world in beauty,
and restore all things in glory
through the victory of Jesus Christ.
We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured
by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war and greed,
the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace,
to the glory of your name. Amen.*

*Revised Common Lectionary, Vanderbilt Divinity Library (online)

Source: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/prayers.php?id=87

Advertisements

Why Are You Weeping? Whom Are You Seeking?

Image

John 20:12-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she  said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).

Why are you weeping?

Why are you weeping?

Each tear has a name, you know, for every pain

every loss, each hurt; all fears.

Those tears are recorded stories.

What do they say —

about love lost

or

life lost?

Mary, why are you weeping?

She was set free, you know.

Delivered.

Rescued

from a gang of dark spirits.

Now her Savior is gone.

Will they return?  What happens if they do? Who will defend her then?

Why are you weeping?

Well,

this tear is for fear of the dark, and the things that move in it.

The one trickling close behind swells with the anger born from abuse:  by men; being used by men.

From the other eye streaks one for the ladies.  

You know the ones.

They begin as mean girls and grow up to be wicked women

whose words bruise deeper than any man’s hand.

Why are you weeping?

For years lost

and

deep regrets

Not just two tears — but a tear for every lost year and every guilty regret.

Tears fall the more; falling still.

Mary weeps till her face glistens; bathed in the anguish of

depression

oppression

shunning

and

hate.

O why are you weeping, Mary?

And not one

Not nearly one tear

but a crowd of tears welling up into those crying eyes

for the One that was lost.

He once spoke of a lost lamb

worth more than 99.

Who knew He would become the Lamb that was Lost.

5,000 tears gather like a crowd in a valley

hungry

to hear the words of life pour from his lips.

Mary, why are you weeping?

For his smile.  Those eyes.  A voice resounding over sea storms

or

whispering life across miles to a child who has died.

Mary, why are you weeping?

For a life in shambles.

Never did anything right. Always.

Always

the wrong place

the wrong time

the wrong friends

the wrong side of the tracks

the wrong choices

Mary, why are you weeping?

He was her closest and truest friend.  The best of us.  He deserved a proper burial.

Don’t        

you        

understand?

It was the best we could do.  

           Sabbath was about to begin.  

This tomb was close.

           It was free.

We had no where else to take him.

She wanted to do right, for His sake.

Couldn’t even wrap him right.

Couldn’t even bathe him in fragrance.

          Always doing it wrong.

Here now, to finish the job

He’s gone.

Why are you weeping?

Do you know where he is?

Why are you weeping?

I’ll take him away!

          Why are you weeping?

                          Whom are you seeking?

Mary,

Whom are you seeking?

Relationships aren’t crutches.

They are Leg 1 and Leg 2 that gives the power to

stand up straight

move forward

jump for joy

But you have to know who it is you’re looking for… and why.

Whom are you seeking?

Some search for a lawyer type.  Someone who will defend and justify even our bad behavior.

Some look for a policeman.  Someone to enforce rules on them because they can’t police themselves.

But some,

some are searching for a helper… a teacher… a guide.

and will settle for a “gardener” —  a custodian of the dead spaces and dark places.

Someone who can offer directions, knows the markers, understands the graveyard layout.

Whom are you seeking?

Convinced that no one understands.

Sure that somebody got here just ahead of you—

taking what is rightfully yours

hiding it

abusing it

losing it

Just whom are you seeking?

If you’ve taken him away  — tell me where!

A gardener knows his way around these

tombs

Markers of forgotten memories

Resting places of lost loves and lives lost

Those sad, stone faces of dreams that died too soon.

Whom are you seeking?

Crying over an empty tomb.  What will a gardener do?

Or

Does your Hope demand something more?

A substance for Faith; Love actually:  that is, a real love that never quits

and can’t be extinguished by

mistakes or immaturity

not by torture

not even by Death.

Whom are you seeking?

Mary is here.

And He is there — standing just behind.

Blinded.

A tear drenched, swollen eyed blindness.

Sobbing over a persisting pain of the present moment.

Today’s tears prevent her from seeing clear — from seeing Him

from seeing the promise of Life more abundant

standing near

standing there — just an arm’s length away.

Whom are you seeking?

Would it surprise you to learn that the One for whom you are searching

is searching for you

“Mary”

Why do you weep?

       Whom do you seek?

Our Hope is in Him

Jesus

Through whom we are introduced, by Faith, into Grace

St. Paul — Romans 5:5

And Hope does not disappoint because the Love of God has been poured out

over us…through us…within us…by the Holy Spirit

And while we were still helpless

Christ assumed our helpless state

and by the great Mercy of God He has caused us to be born again to a living Hope

through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

St. Peter — 1 Peter

Some say “a crutch”.

I say two legs

to stand on

two legs

to move forward in faith

two legs to jump for joy!

We find Joy in suffering.

Not because we are crazy or lie to ourselves.

But because hell moments reveal the face of Grace.

Through red, swollen eyes we will see one we mistook for a gardener

becomes the one who saves;

turns out to be the one we’ve been looking for all along.

Faith, tested by hardship and trouble and pain is purer, stronger stuff.

And though you have not seen Him, you Love Him,

and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him,

you dance with an

inexplicable

inexpressible

irrepressible

Joy

Full of Glory!            Full of Glory!           Full of Glory!

Your tears are mourning blessed to comfort

Blessed are those, too, who seek, for they will find!

—Or should I say, He found you, weeping and seeking —

The Soul saving One

Jesus.

Messiah.