It's early. Morning has broken, just barely, when Mary prepares oils and spices, and goes to Jesus' tomb. It's a day of sadness. Grief. Longing for days gone by, when there seemed to be a purpose. When she arrived, she discovered the tomb was open and empty. Must have been a disturbing and lonely experience, but she was not alone. She looked up and saw someone nearby, whom she did not recognize. The Gospel of John tells us, "She thought he was just the gardener." He also sees her, and when he speaks her name, everything changes.
For some, Easter is a grand and glorious day of big choirs, new clothes, and high pageantry. And for some, Easter is as simple as a walk in the garden. Who knows? Perhaps you will meet a gardener, who sees you, speaks to your soul, and mysteriously knows your name.
This Easter, I am feeling and thinking about the simple ways we experience each other, as ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Like gardening. Like sharing sorrows, and sharing joys. Grieving over who or what we have lost. And sometimes, without even knowing, those simple moments become an invitation into resurrected love and mercy. Right here in our own little gardens.
Whether you go to church this Easter, or take a walk in the woods, or dig in the garden, be mindful of those ordinary moments. Even the sad and lonely ones. Look and listen for a moment of grace and beauty breaking through. "There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in." (Thank you for that, Leonard Cohen.) Like an open and empty tomb, morning has broken. Today there is an opening for resurrected love and mercy.