Voice in the Garden

Darkness wraps around me like a cloak, forcing me to slow down on the uneven path to the tomb. Still, I’m grateful for the lack of light. Too many hostile eyes have watched us lately. Too many mocking tongues have hissed insults—first at him, then at us. At least now, before sunrise, we walk unseen and unhindered.

I think back to the strange darkness that had cloaked the land as Jesus hung on the cross. The tongues had stopped their mocking then too. The very people who had shouted Crucify! had slunk away in fear, allowing us to edge closer. Close enough to hear Jesus speak his dying words. It is finished. Continue reading

The Wait and the Wonder

graveThe hiss of my name draws me from a restless dream. Momentarily, relief surges through me; the gnarled hands pushing up from the soil to grasp at my brother’s ankles are not real. ‘Just a dream, just a dream’, my heart pounds loudly.

“Martha!” I hear the fear in my sister’s voice.

I stumble from the sleeping palette, remembering how Mary had coaxed me to leave Lazarus’ side in the night. “I will watch him for a few hours,” she had said. “He seems slightly better.” Because I was exhausted from two constant days and nights of standing vigil, I had agreed. And it was true that Lazarus no longer thrashed around in pain, even though his body still burned with fire.

Now I drop to my knees by his side. My fingers graze his forehead; its scorching heat shocks me. Only then, in the candlelight’s flicker, do I notice that Lazarus’ eyes are open. Yet, it is not my gaze he holds; his glazed eyes already seem to roam worlds far beyond our own. Continue reading