The Name

Yellow flower israel field.

It was a beautiful morning. The night’s chill warming away with the rising of the sun  over the Judean hills. A myriad of birds sang their awakening songs. Flowers sprinkled the edges of the path.

But the young woman trudging up the road noticed none of these. She was absorbed in her own sorrow. Grief was her only companion. If possible her broken heart was shattered more with the discovery that the tomb was empty. She could not even pay her respects to the dear man who had given her unconditional love and hope for a bright future.

So gripped by her pain, she hardly noticed the man, apparently the gardener, behind  her who asked her why she was crying. Then it happened. She recognized the voice that whispered one word, one name.

“Mary.”

It was Him, Jesus! The moment he spoke her name, Mary Magdalene’s world changed forever. Her worst day, now bloomed anew with hope, and everything was all right.

I cannot fully imagine what that moment was like. But when I recently read again that familiar passage from the Bible, it struck me. That moment was monumental. It must have been breathtaking. It was darkness turned to light. Grief to delight. Death to new life.

The closest I can get to that experience is when I was a little boy. In the dark, lonely and afraid it only took my father’s voice and one word. “Danny.” Then I knew I was safe and loved and everything was all right.

Jesus still pursues us with love, whispering our names. Sometimes we don’t respond because of the distractions of life or pain or unhealthy temptations.

But for those  who hear and turn and see the One who loves us unconditionally, discover a new day and hope that will last forever. When we hear Jesus whisper our names, we know we are safe and everything is all right.

“…thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

“Jesus said, to her, “Mary”.

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means, “Teacher”).     –John 20: 15-16 (NIV)

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