Ellen Romer Niemiec
Voice of the Lord
Today begins a series of special posts that will run through the Easter season. Normally you won't see them on Sunday, but it was fitting to begin the special posts on Easter. Our contributors have written some Psalms of Today. With an ear to the beautiful tradition of Psalms found in Scripture and the songs and poetry that grew from them, these are original pieces that include a reflection. We invite you to join us through all of Easter reflecting and praying with these words. Our last post in the series will be on Pentecost. Let us know what you think of the series. We may bring it back in other seasons.
Dark and dampness sink deep into my bones.
The emptiness feels cold.
I am breathless.
Tired. Lost. Trembling.
Where have they laid my Lord?
I do not know where you’ve gone.
I cannot hear your voice.
I only see what has been left behind
Rolled up and set aside.
Everything I see is unexpected and confusing.
Is this really what you meant to do?
Lord, don’t leave me behind.
I cannot bind you to me
To keep you close to my heart.
What happens when I cannot find you?
I cannot even see my own hands in this darkness.
I long to hear your voice, calling me out from the darkened tomb.
To hear the sound of my name
Coming from the mouth of one who loves me.
To feel it burst through the silence, green leaves through winter soil.
To know, deep in my soul, that you are truly risen.
That I am risen with you.
That you are risen in me.
I never cease to be struck by Mary Magdalene the morning of the resurrection. Could she not sleep? She was at the tomb so early in the morning. She was there, then ran to get Peter and the others, then ran back. Confusion seems to be an underwhelming description of her morning. She just wants to find her Lord. She has been living through a nightmare that seems to just get worse. The gospel reading today leaves us hanging a bit. They don’t actually find him. Mary remains behind.
Finishing the story in John’s gospel, Mary’s encounter with the risen Lord continues to be confusing. It is not until the beautifully emotional exchange - ‘Mary!’ ‘Rabbouni!’ - that she recognizes him. Hearing Jesus calls her name clears the fog and opens her eyes to her beloved and risen Lord in front of her.
For the past few years, this moment has come in and out of my prayer at different times. I am always moved by the beauty of Jesus calling her name. And a deep desire to hear my own name called. WIth all the questions that have come along in the past few years, I have so often found myself asking the Lord ‘Is this really what you want of me?’ I haven’t really heard my name. But today encourages me to remember that it’s very easy to find oneself confused and lost when looking for where Jesus is in their life. Even if it’s right there. And that when all feels lost, Jesus can still change everything in a second. And will call my name. There will always be new life.