Some types of darkness are so complete I wonder what I was calling darkness before. Fiddling with the scree at the bottom of the cave floor I am sitting on, my hand bumps into the most unlikely thing in the world… flowers? They are not dried flowers but living ones. I can feel their soft petals. I sense him smiling in the dark.
“What are we doing?” I ask Jesus. He doesn’t say anything so I take his cue and don’t say anything either.
It never occurred to me that the Risen Lord might have wanted to sit and reflect before he came out of the tomb but it makes sense. Before I take a big step that turns the world upside down that is what I do too.
And then I think that it would have been possible for him not to tell anyone that he had risen from the dead. He could have just done it in the secret of the tomb and ascended without an audience. The victory would still have been won. But Jesus isn’t like that. He wants to bring us all in, share everything with us. He wants us to choose him and engage with him in life. Even the work of bringing all the world in on this most mind boggling gift he doesn’t keep to himself.
He wants us to share in the power flowing from his resurrection and to shine out for everyone.
He wanted us to know what he was doing for us not when we got to Heaven but right away, and to act on it in this life.
I wonder what he is thinking about over there.
I want to be closer to him so I start edging toward where I think I may have heard him scratching around. I keep bumping into waxy plants of some kind. Going over them with my hands I realize they are lilies. They smell like lilies; that mild, sweet fragrance they have.
“What are you thinking about?” I ask him. “Everything,” he says, and I am at his side.
“Things that have happened? Things that will happen?” I ask.
He chuckles which makes me laugh too, so glad to be in this moment with him.
We stand together and I do my best to follow him. It must be time.
We pause and I feel a roundish jagged rock in front of me. It is so strange that it is covered with a wild tangle of roses. I know they are roses because of their beautiful and unmistakable scent.
I never know what is going to happen around him but I do know it will always be life, life and more life!
I am almost giggling thinking of how surprised Mary Magdalene is going to be when she sees him. I am so happy I will get to see this.
“Are you ready?” he asks. “This is where things get really crazy.”.
I don’t know what to say. Why is he asking me if I’m ready?
“I’ve been waiting for you, Lord.” I say.
“For me?” he asks.
Something about the way he says it causes my understanding to shift. With amazement I realize this is my tomb, not his. It is I who am about to rise with him and go out from here as something or someone I am not sure I will recognize. Also he said things were about to get crazy so … I hesitate.
He seems to think this is great fun however, and I can’t help but be infected with his joyous excitement; his happiness because he loves me and he came that I might live, and live to the full and forever with him.
I embrace Jesus and I tell him I am ready. We step back and we count together, “1…. 2….3!”
And what about you?
Hey, COME OUT OF THERE!
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14