John 20: 18 “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.”
I sometimes let Clivie watch a short video before I take him to school in the morning. It gives me a chance to make coffee, unload the dishwasher, and hopefully have a few minutes to pray. Yesterday morning as I pulled out the tablet and asked him what he wanted to watch- he said emphatically “I want the show with the green dinosaur!”
I pulled up all the shows we had let him watch recently that had any character that was green or remotely resembled a dinosaur. I showed him each of them and he replied “No Mommy, that’s not it.” I searched “kids’ dinosaur show” on Netflix, asked him a few more questions, searched again, and showed him the options. Again, he said, “No Mommy, that’s not it.” After 15 minutes of this (and knowing it was getting late, I had a lot to do, and we were getting deeper in 3 year old meltdown territory). I took a deep breath and said “Honey, It’s not here. Mommy can’t find it.” He was emphatic, “Mommy you have to keep looking!! I saw the green dinosaur! I know he’s here!! I saw him!”
It’s the twenty first century three year old version of the challenge Mary was facing when she raced breathlessly back from the tomb to find the Disciples on Easter morning. We have little record of the conversation. But we can imagine her trying to convince them in the midst of their morning busy-ness, and skepticism that she had really seen Jesus. But when they were probably tempted to shrug, and turn attention to something else- she didn’t give up. She was emphatic.
“I saw him! I know he is here!! I saw him! I have seen the Lord!”
And thank God she had- even though it seemed impossible, even though it defied all logic, even though anyone who heard her could easily write her off as mistaken or delusional or just plain wrong. Thank God she persisted. Thank God she didn’t give up. Thank God she had seen with the eyes of her heart and was forever changed because of it and had to tell somebody “I saw him! I know he is here!! I saw him! I have seen the Lord!”
Mary’s story illustrates the importance of finding voice, of sharing our truth, even in the midst of resistance. It is important to persist. It is important to speak- and sometimes it is important to do it loudly and emphatically even when it causes others to question and feel uncomfortable. Her story also underscores the importance of listening to others- even if we feel too busy, even if the stories require us to change our realities, even if what others say seems impossible to us. Close listening brings clarity- especially when a very important connection is being lost in the translation. (For example: If one looks very closely green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really do look quite a bit like green dinosaurs).
Perhaps most importantly of all- listening is important- because the sharing of life changing, resurrection bringing, world transforming relationships and Easter Sunday possibilities may depend on it.
Keep your eyes peeled in coming days. You may be surprised to find Jesus standing right in front of you. When you realize it is him I hope you will come back ready to share your story and shouting, “I saw him! I know he is here!! I saw him! I have seen the Lord!”
Have a wonderful life changing Easter! See you on the journey!