Easter Tears

Imagine being Mary Magdalene. It is the day after the Great Feast. Dawn has not come, so it is still dark. Cold dew like teardrops adorn each leaf and grassblade.

You have brought the spices to anoint the corpse of the rabbi who cured all the delusions and inner torments that haunted you night and day. The seven shadows you alone could see in the looking glass vanished, and the whispering voices, the terrible voices, you alone could hear fell silent.

So you followed the teacher all the days of your life. Where is he now?

Then he was arrested at night, but you thought the Roman law would free him, after the governor himself said the master was not guilty of any wrong. He was sent to Herod, who was not a Roman, who surely would free him. After all, the accusations were false, and witnesses perjured themselves to condemn him. Everyone knew the master did no wrong. He healed the sick and raised the dead. What we he even accused of? And then, on that terrible day, you nursed the secret hope that the mocking voices calling the master to save himself, to come down from the cross, would see some miracle, some great work. Surely the master would come down from the cross! When the sky turned dark, and the earth trembled, your secret hope leaped up: this was the moment! He could and would come down, and all would see, and the mockery would fall silent, just like the dark voices that torment you for so many years fell silent.

But the jeers did not fall silent. Instead, the master gave a great cry of woe eloi eloi lama sabachthani

And he fell silent, not they.

There was not even time to prepare the body for burial. His mother kept weeping over the body, asking them not to cover his bruised and broken face, asking him to wake up again. But he would never wake again.

So now you come. The Romans and the Pharisees, all the authorities and rulers who could not and did not help you when you were afflicted, they were not done mocking and defeating you, not done crushing your hopes.

They moved the body, or someone did. Someone took the body away. You are not even to be allowed to anoint it properly.

You have always been able to see things others could not see: the men in white, purest white, tell you not to  seek the living among the dead. Such visions are never clear. What could they mean?

So you turn away.

In the gloom of the twilight of the dawn, blurred by the tears in your downcast eyes, you see the gardener.

Maybe he will know where the body has been taken.

He speaks. “Woman, why do you weep?”

And, as suddenly as that, it is dawn.  Darkness passes.

Now is light.