Today I’m blogging over at Revgalblogpals. You can find the full article here.
In this incredibly painful, scary, and uncertain time, many of us feel hopeless and helpless. Like Mary, all we feel we can do is fall at Jesus’ feet and weep. All we feel we can pray is: “If only you had been here!” All we feel we can ask is: “Why?”
What strikes me is how Jesus does not condemn Mary for her questioning of and accusations toward him. He does not try to “fix” things for her nor does he offer her a cliché Christian saying like “Everything happens for a reason” or “Just trust God.” He does not downplay her feelings, make her feel guilty for having and expressing them, or tell her to look on the bright side. Jesus does not even offer her an answer to her question “why”.
What Jesus does do is show up.
He shows up to and for her, he sits with her as she grieves, and he quietly listens to her. Deeply disturbed by her pain and sadness, Jesus has compassion for her. And he weeps with her.
In doing so, he is saying to her:
Your feelings are valid.
You are loved.
You are beloved.
I see you, and I hear you.
I hold your grief in my heart.
You are not alone.
This is good news. This is the message of hope that Mary needed in her time of grief. And this is the message of hope that many of us need as we experience grief during this pandemic.
In the midst of the wilderness, God shows up.
God shows up to us. God shows up for us. And God shows up through us.
So may we not only receive this message of God’s love and hope, but may we offer it to our neighbors – especially those most vulnerable and need the extra care right now.
We need each other more than ever in these times.