Mary Magdalene

She came on Sunday morning, while it was still dark. She couldn’t sleep anyway. All night she had been pacing the floor thinking of Him – all the things she wish she had said to Him. All the things He had told her. All the things He had done – healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, and casting out demons – he had cast demons out of her. They had controlled her life for so long, telling her she was worthless, that no one would ever love her – that her life was meaningless and beyond all hope.

But He had come along and spoken to her. He cast those repulsive voices out of her head and He spoke softly to her. He had called her by name – Mary.

The life she had lived before He came, no one called her by name. They called her “that crazy woman” if they called her anything at all. But He called her by name, and the way He said it, she knew that He knew who she really was, deep down inside. So that night she paced frantically, wishing she could talk to Him, ask Him why He did it. He had done so much good, He had healed so many people. He was a good man. Why did He have to get Himself killed?

What He died for – was it really that important? Was it worth it? Why did He leave her? He was the only one who really cared, who ever saw her as a human being. As long as He was there, she could make it. She could live a new life. She could be a new person. But He was gone, and He wasn’t coming back.
Why did He do it? Why did He let them take Him? No fight, no miracles…nothing. Why?

She couldn’t take it any longer. She had to go to His tomb. Of course, He wouldn’t hear her…but she needed to be near Him. Even though He was gone.

On the way there, she noticed how quiet the world was. Everyone asleep. The disciples all hiding. They would never go to the tomb. They were too afraid. But she had nothing left to lose. She found herself talking to Him again. It was hard not to. It almost seemed like He was still listening…that her words were not wasted. It felt like a prayer.

But of course it couldn’t be a prayer. How crazy to pray to a friend.

“Just because you weren’t the messiah doesn’t mean I don’t still love you.”
She let the words hang in the air and kept walking. The garden was in view now.

Suddenly, she stopped. His tomb! The stone was moved! It was open! Who did this???

She turned and ran. A million thoughts were swirling in her head. Why couldn’t they just let Him rest in peace? They had killed Him, wasn’t that enough??? Why did they have to defile His final resting place? And what did they do…steal His body? Why would they do that?

She ran to the only place she knew to go. Their hiding place. The disciples were all scared for their lives and were hiding behind locked doors. She knocked the secret knock.

“Who is it?” The voice was John’s.
“Mary Magdalene.”
The door opened slightly.
“What do you want?”
She started weeping hysterically. She knew she wasn’t making sense…but she got the words out…tomb…open…He’s gone!

John and Peter ran to the tomb and she walked slowly, in no hurry to get there.
The sun was almost up. She knew they wouldn’t dare be caught outside in daylight.
She began to weep as she walked. She hadn’t slept in days. She hadn’t eaten either.
Maybe I’m going crazy again, she thought. Maybe I was just seeing things.
Was she dreaming? Was the tomb really open?

Suddenly, John and Peter came running up the street toward her. They had already been there. They had seen it. Peter didn’t even acknowledge her and ran by – his eyes were terrified. John at least stopped. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. He then ran ahead to catch up with Peter.

She came back to the garden. The sun had risen. There it was – still open.
I’m not crazy – she thought.
And then she wept some more. Maybe she wanted to be crazy.
In a world where He is gone, maybe it’s better to be crazy.
She stooped to look into the dark tomb.

She saw two beings sitting in the tomb. They were glowing radiantly.
The grief has made me completely insane – she thought.

One of them spoke – why are you crying?

She had learned from experience that when you are crazy and hallucinating, it is best not to talk to the hallucinations. So she nonchalantly turned and walked away from the tomb. Then she saw Him.

Because it was so early and foggy…and because her tears were clouding her vision, she could just see his form. Probably the garden’s caretaker. I mustn’t let him know that I am insane.

“Woman, why are you weeping?” the man asked.

Again came the hysterical tears. Why am I weeping? The one person in the world who ever saw who I really am is gone forever. The one person who could say my name and reach into my heart is dead. She tried to put some of this into words but it came out all wrong.

Again the man asked, “Woman, why are you weeping…who is it that you are looking for?”

She could barely get the words out…where have they taken His body…if you’ve moved it just tell me where…I just need to know where He is.

And then he said it. It felt like a dream, where suddenly in the darkest moment, everything goes right. It only took Him two syllables to say it but it was the length of her whole life that He put into those two syllables. When He said it, it unlocked her heart and the darkness left her.


She didn’t stop weeping, but the weeping turned from the empty tears of hopeless mourning to rivers of deep joy welling up inside of her. She didn’t know how He could possibly be there. It was impossible. She began to laugh even as the tears kept coming.

There was no way to explain it. It was Him. And yet it needed no explanation. It had to be Him. He said a few more things but her mind wasn’t keeping up. She just watched His mouth move. Was this a dream? Would she wake up from it?

It was then that she realized that the darkness was the dream; that a world in which death is the last word is true insanity. It was simple. If she ever woke up from this dream, she would still choose to live in it. Because a dream of Him would always be more real than reality itself.

It was impossible, but it was Him. She ran from that place knowing that her life had just begun, even though it was over yesterday.


~ by shardsofeternity on March 31, 2010.

One Response to “Mary Magdalene”

  1. Derek.
    Really, really good stuff! Can’t wait to be home to hear it! 🙂 Such a gift! Such a gift you have! 🙂

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