It’s been a long time since I’ve been here to write on this blog. I would imagine everyone has packed up and moved on by now. My heart’s been yearning to make some sense of what’s been transpiring in this season of life. Yet, there have been no words.
To say that life has been turned upside down is an understatement. There has been more going on in this last year than meets the eye. It’s as if there is no stone being left unturned in my marriage, my life. Things that have been hidden down deep for years have suddenly made their way up and out.
Like never before I’ve been challenged at the core of my faith. The words have slipped out of my mouth more than once. “Where were you?” “Where have you been?” “Why didn’t you come when I called you?”
A few days back I found myself in the pages of John as the familiar story took on a different light in a moment’s time. I saw her like I had never seen her before. I saw that in the pain of her circumstances much like me, she had been challenged too.
Weeks before she had poured expensive perfume on the feet of the one she loved. As men stood by questioning her exravagance she knew it didn’t matter. She spilled herself out freely. She wiped His feet with her hair. She risked everything to love. At the core of her being she would follow Him anywhere, do anything.
That moment of sacrifice must have seemed like an eternity ago as she faced her current circumstances. The question must have echoed through her heart. Why didn’t He come when she needed Him the most? I saw it woven into the words before me.
Lazarus had gotten sick. She sent for Jesus to come and heal him. She knew of His power. He had stayed in her home. He had eaten at her table. He had healed those who came. Surely He would come quickly to touch one so dear to His heart. She sent for Him… But He didn’t come..
Jesus did not come until it was too late.
After it was all over He showed up on the road to their house. Martha went out to meet Him. Mary stayed home. She did not go out to meet Him. She stayed home.
You can see a lot in a story if you look, especially if your world has you ripe and ready.
Jesus asked Martha to get Mary. It was then she got up and left the house to go and meet Him. Her words spoke the story of her moments. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I saw it, suddenly, for the first time. She was asking Him what I had asked. “Why didn’t you come?” “Where were you?”
He saw her weeping. He groaned. He ached. He wept too. People said it was because Jesus loved Lazarus so much. They believed it was His grief for a life lost. How could that be I wondered. After all Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus. It is why He tarried. He knew that Lazarus had to die in order for the greater thing to be revealed.
He couldn’t have wept for the loss of Lazarus. He must have wept for the struggle He saw in Mary.
He called for the stone to be removed. “Lazarus come forth,” He announced. It was then the eyes of understanding were opened to her. There was purpose in His delay. He had been right where she needed Him to be. He knew the greater thing she did not.
Greater things await….
Surely He has groaned for me too. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow after all. As it was for Mary it must surely be for me. As the tears have rolled down my face, while groans escaped my lips surely has He wept too.
It’s in the middle of the storm when the clouds part just a little allowing the sun to peek its way through that hope creeps in.
I’m in that in between place. I do not yet see the greater thing. In those sacred moments, Mary’s life testified thousands of years later. I became kindred to her in a way I had not known. For her story reminds me that there are greater things I know not of.
It is the way of the God of the ages.
©copyrighted: 2012; julie l. todd