Resurrection Letters

4/30/15

Magdalene

Chilled to the bone,

you sit in the early morning

your body and soul as cold as the stone tomb opposite

waiting for a warmth you fear

will not come with the morning.

Because the Sun has been put out

and even his body, now, has been taken from you.

Even as the light grows, and the white

shining messenger bids you stop crying

and the gardener too

disturbs your mourning,

the chill cannot be shaken.

Except by that sound:

“Mary”

the voice you never thought to hear again,

giving you back your name.

And suddenly, you understand:

you understand the meaning

of the dark, cold, long night

that it was for the sake of that name,

for the sake of this moment,

that you could be remade.

 

Teach me to rest with you,

in the fragile, slow waking

of the cold garden in the morning,

to wait there, long enough

to hear Him remake me

with the sound of my name,

uttered by the Voice

that first called forth the morning.

 

The Two

 Your whole world has fallen apart.

You are walking away

from the City that will now forever bear the scars

of the broken shards of your dreams.

And you are returning home,

going away as fast as you can

from the women who bear the news

that rubs salt in the fresh wounds of his loss:

even his body couldnʼt rest in peace.

O you impatient ones,

whose hurt is so deep, it drives you away

before the sun reaches the height of the sky

Heʼs coming, running after you, intercepting you on the road.

You did not wait; you left before you could hear

a breathless Maryʼs cry that she had seen Him.

But he doesnʼt let you go; he doesnʼt leave you

because He promised the Father that He would not lose

one of His own.

He cuts you off, he walks with you

away from the others that still wait to see him

and he takes the wrong road, all that long afternoon

all the time that it takes

to help you see, to help you understand

and recognize him, when at the end

he breaks the bread, and sends you running back

to the others who have seen Him in your absence.

 

I too am impatient to stay

in the face of disappointment.

I would rather run away

remove myself as far as I can go

from the source of broken dreams

than stay and wait for Him to come

through the long, slow process

of how He brings to fulfillment

what I want in an instant.

But He comes after me, too, on my own road,

and He walks with me as long as it takes,

to send me running home.

 

Thomas

 How did you do it?

What were you thinking?

When the One Who had disappointed you

who had shattered all your hopes

the One you had planned to lay your life down for

and who hung from a Cross instead…

this One, whom your heart had cried out against in anger

in disappointed love,

“I must touch his wounds,

I must put my hand in his side…”

And then He was there, and He was giving you

everything you had asked for.

And you who in the end had not the courage

to lay down and die for him

how did you find the strength

to put your hand into that side?

to put your fingers into the nail marks

to touch those wounds…

 

And can you give me this courage?

This humility?

when He meets me, here

in my bitter disappointments, and desperate pleas

with hands outstretched to give

exactly what I demanded

in a way I never expected to get?

Will you lift my hand and draw it into

the side that was also opened for me.

 

 

Peter

 Is it possible,

after the darkest night, so much more terrible

than your worst nightmares

after witnessing what you could never have imagined

after witnessing the end of life

of everything…

it feels so surreal, to be sitting here again on the shore

with the fire, and the fish, and have him asking you,

“Do you love me?”

But not only that:

“Do you love me more than anything?

More than all of this?

Would you give up yourself for me?”

He, Who knows better than anyone

that you have proved incapable of loving thus…

And yet you want to: you want to love him thus.

And all you can do is confess this want:

confess your affection.

Confess your pitiful, weak desire

that your love be all it isnʼt.

 

Can I say anything differently? Sitting, with you, shell shocked,

in the wreckage of all we thought we were,

how we saw ourselves,

the image of what we wanted to be

still in pieces at our feet.

“Do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

Each time, driving deeper the desperate grief

That I cannot give what He is asking.

And then He looks on me with love, and he asks,

“Do you have an affection for me?

Do you want to love me?”

And overwhelmed in mercy, I answer with you,

You know, Lord…”

 

 

 

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