“But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.” Matthew 27:61
“One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate. In this there is also a residue of belief that during the move the master will chance to come along the corridor, look at the prisoner and say: “This man is not to be locked up again, He is to come with me.”
(Listen to “On the Nature of Daylight” while you read today’s piece)
A tomb is a place where the dead go to die. Where the soul leaves the body. Where breath is not present. Where life is no more.
Inside the tomb, there is hollow and darkness. No love, just pain. The hope of light is lost and the dawn of daylight is far away. We ache at the thought of our loved one being lost to the night forever, and grieve at the passage of time, the regret of loss, and the emotions which consume us. There is no cure for broken heartedness. There is only the passage of time.
While some of us flee and fail to grieve, move on with our daily lives to forget, others stay beside the grave, beside the tomb. We feel every bit of our grief, allow time to stop.
We allow our emotions to consume us, guard the headstone, and lay at the feet of the one we love. We mourn at loss, make peace with the sky, but cannot see its face. We miss the smell of life, the joy of closeness and the flesh that He once wore.
We are alone.
Sitting next to the tomb is unfulfilling and hollow, but we cannot move- He still beckons us. While others have gone astray, we remain embracing, steadfast and tears. It does not matter that there is just us. We guard Him now as we guarded Him then. The love still in our hearts. The wounds still in our hands. The eternity we still carry. The blood that sustains us, running through our veins.
We stay because He is our Master. We stay because He is our friend. We stay because never before have our hearts been touched in such a way as this.
We stay because it is alright to grieve.
Who else will guard His tomb? They have all went away- every one of them. We remain. The weak things of this world. The vision of two lowly women in the world’s eyes guarding the King of the Universe.
And even though a stone is in our way, the compulsion for it to move is greater. It is greater than us, of our souls and of our being. It is our fiat.
I will not leave Him because I love Him. Because He trusts me. Because He knows that I will stay.
Let the night bring His death but the day His resurrection. May I see what I cannot see now. The morning of hope. The fruit of loss. And the remembrance of everything that I have gained.
No, tomorrow is not promised but He is. I AM. Not I was. He is present, alive, here- yes, even in death.
In His finality I am sorrowful, but hopeful of his triumphant return. The strings of the violin, my tears, His pain, and the wood that bore His body. That is all gone now. So I will sit and wait for my heart to return to me. The lover of my soul. The one that knows every breath of me.
My love, you are the eternity in my heart. The song in my tears. You are everything. And I will wait until you rise again in your triumphant procession. The Easter that you created. The rising you predicted. I will use my tears to water the soil surrounding your grave.
Lord, you are and always will be the reason I exist, the cry of my heart, the depth of my soul. Your song is joy. The cross is my joy. Rest now my love while I sit by and let you sleep while I keep watch- as you do for me every moment of my life. I look forward to your coming, your awakening and mine, when we will see each other again face to face. When I will touch your lips and your hands.
You transcend time.
My risen Savior, the tomb is just the beginning of your emergence. Your song. The silent way you tell us that everything will be o.k. I know that you have not forsaken me.
So I will remain sitting here, facing the tomb.