Tuesday, April 14, 2020

she didn't realize

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t realize that it was Jesus.” (John 20:14, NIV)

Not realizing is an interesting phenomenon.  Because a large part of not realizing is that you don’t realize that you’re not realizing.  That’s what makes it so tricky.  We get so far inside our own paradigm or perspective that it is all we can see.  Everything is seen and interpreted through that particular point of view.  It is complete tunnel vision.  And it is not something we can break out of on our own, we need help.  It takes a voice from outside ourselves, or from the Spirit within, to awaken us.  It takes an epiphany.  Otherwise, we will just keep maintaining the status quo.

Mary didn’t realize that it was Jesus.  Either her grief, or her confusion, or her emotions, or her surroundings, or the chaos caused by all of the above had her so preoccupied and consumed with her own point of view that she could see nothing else.  Her eyes were so full of tears that her vision could not have been anything but distorted.  And in the midst of her pain and sorrow and sadness, she could not see that she could not see.

It took a voice gently calling her name.  It took the voice of her Savior.  He was the only one who could awaken her from the nightmare.  He was the only one who could help her realize that he was right there.  And when he finally spoke, she came to life once again.  His resurrection had brought about her own.

That’s the way things tend to work in the spiritual life.  Oftentimes, we are so far inside ourselves, or our circumstances, that we cannot see Jesus, even when he’s standing right in front of us.  But thanks be to God that he doesn’t leave us that way for long.  Eventually he calls out our name and we awaken from our sleep and are raised to new life once again, just like Mary.

Speak to us this day, Risen Jesus, that we might hear our name from your lips and realize that you are with us, even in the midst of our sorrow and our tears.  Raise us to new life again, that we might help others to realize that you are present in the midst of their chaos as well.  Amen.

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