But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
- John 20:11
This past week, I have been re-reading a favorite historical fiction novel called The Expected One. Similar to Dan Brown's approach with The DaVinci Code, Kathleen McGowan weaves together pieces of histories, stories, and images to create a compelling account of Mary Magdalene, her life in the teachings of The Way, and the aftermath of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The story, in may circles, is considered heretical, and the results of that heresy are played out in the modern story line of the book. I am not a biblical scholar, so I'll skip over any thoughts I might have about which historical pieces are supported and which are creatively manipulated by the author, but I will share my experience reading it for the first time.
I was travelling on business when I was pregnant with Andrew and had two long cross-country flights. After the first, I knew I would need something better than television and magazines to occupy time during my evenings in the hotel and on the flight home. I picked up the book on my first evening, read about three quarters of it during my stay, and - on the third day - took the return flight home. It was there, in a single front-row seat, adjascent to the flight attendant's station, that I found myself weeping overtly at the foot of the cross. McGowans description of scene was vivid, and her care in expressing Mary's overwhelming emotions carried me directly into the moment. The roar of the engines and the scraping metal sounds of the wobbling beverage cart drowned out the sound of my sobs, Mary's sobs, as Jesus died. Had they not, I'm sure the passangers behind me would have thought that the pregnant lady in the front was about to come unglued. The stewardess had her suspiscions and eyed me closely.
I write today, on Good Friday, having calculated that I have one hundred and one pages to finish reading after I sing the Agnus Dei at service tonight. I know what's coming. But I will still read into the night. And I will weep. I will follow Mary's example, because I love Him. And because God reveals himself to those who love Him, as he did to Mary that first Easter morning.
May your Easter refelctions be blessed by these thoughts.
- Blessings, Amy