Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Women with Idle Tales

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. Luke 24:1-11

It is not hard to be misunderstood. As a woman in a previously all male profession, folks are often confused by my garb and some have asked whether I was a nun. As a young woman, feeling strongly God's call on my life, I tried to convince my husband the call was for him. Thank goodness he was smart and kind and encouraged me to respond to God. He didn't hear my call as an idle tale.

The women who go out to the tomb face an onerous task. They go to wash and anoint the body of their beloved friend and teacher. Their grief is deep and their steps are slow. When they encounter the angel and remember Jesus' words they run with joy to the disciples. Their story seem impossible and frivolous,
a cruel joke on the men who are grieving and who could not face a visit to the tomb. They could not look on their friend in death. And they were women, who might easily, the disciples think, be given to hysteria and confusion. But God gave the story to the women, some of whom were unfit for any respectable station in life. The women who went out early with broken hearts were given a gift beyond measure.

Today I ask God to help me go out despite the grief and loss that surrounds. May we not hesitate to minister and reach out, despite our personal and societal limitations, knowing that God has more good gifts than we can imagine. And God yet has good news for our broken hearts.

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