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"Fullness of the Tomb" by Lauren Wright Pittman
used with permission
A Sanctified Art | sanctifiedart.org
Each person engages the tomb to different degrees. Mary sees the stone missing from the tomb and runs to share what she’s seen. The unnamed disciple bends down, looks into the tomb, and sees strips of linen, but does not enter. Peter enters the tomb immediately and sees the linen wrappings and Jesus’ head cloth. The unnamed disciple enters after Peter and believes, though his belief is unclear. It seems each person’s knowledge builds, but understanding isn’t realized.
The disciples return home, but Mary chooses to stay in the midst of this nightmare. Through tear-filled eyes, Mary chooses to remain present and to see.
As the morning’s darkness shifts into hues of dancing light, Mary sees two angels whose brilliance cracks the tomb’s darkness. They interrupt the sounds of her sorrow, asking an absurd question at the mouth of her friend’s empty tomb: “Woman, why are you weeping?” As she explains to the bright figures the source of her tears, a strange man repeats the question. She turns and sees him, but still does not understand. When the man exclaims, “Mary!” the emptiness of the tomb becomes fullness.
If we take time in the disorienting, wilderness moments of our lives, choosing to see everything for what it is instead of running away, our perspective can change, and we open ourselves to miracles. Mary planted herself in the wilderness and saw the horror of an empty tomb transform into the most saturated image of hope. Jesus is unbound, alive, and everywhere, and she becomes the original bearer of this Good News. When we choose to endure the wilderness, we have the opportunity to recognize and receive the gifts the wilderness has to offer us, and to go out to share it with others.