April 16, 2014


It is Easter week already.

Today I was thinking about Jordan who just turned 13 last weekend and remembering a special insight he had 3 years ago at Easter time that still impacts me.  I wrote about it back then but I wanted to remind myself - and hopefully bless you all - with the special wisdom that comes from children.

On Easter Sunday three years ago, in a time of family reflection, we read the four gospel versions of that most amazing day in history - the one that divides the timeline into a before and an after.

You know the story.

But after reading the John version, Dad asked if anyone had any insights and our 10-year-old Jordan said simply:  ¨Mary stayed.¨  We were all quiet as the profound simplicity of this observation settled upon us.

¨Mary stayed.¨ 

And oh! to think what she would have missed!

In John´s version, Mary discovers the empty tomb and runs to tell Peter and John.  They run to see it and then ¨they went back to their homes.¨  But Mary stayed.  She stayed and wept.  She stayed and looked again into the tomb, saw two angels, had a conversation with them.  She turns around and speaks to a presumed gardener.  Jesus reveals himself to her.  She stayed - and has one of the most precious encounters with the Saviour of all time.

And I began to think of what ¨staying¨ harvests in us...

Desperate ¨staying¨in the Presence brings fruitfulness.  Holy living. Intimacy.  ¨Staying¨ in marriage harvests faithfulness.  Stability.  Healthy families full of integrity.  Courageous ¨staying¨ in times of stress or difficulty or even persecution harvest the very things the Kingdom of God is made of.  And ¨staying¨ in our host cultures long enough harvests language abilities, cultural skills and missional, redemptive influence.

I think this year I would have to add that ¨staying¨ in times of suffering - not just bearing them until they´re over - harvests a deeper leaning into truths about God we were previously unaware of.  It harvests a season of questions about our personal faith & theology.  It pushes us to struggle with dark places in ourselves we didn´t know were there.  It digs out compassion & love.  It moves us into the present moment because at times that´s all we have the energy for...and that allows us to be more present to the One who is there.  We still have so much more to learn about ¨staying¨ in suffering...

¨Staying¨ is not an absence of motion or passion.  While it is quiet, it is intentional.  Where it seems absent of movement, it is ripe with meaning.  It is a remarkably powerful action.

¨Mary stayed.¨

How about you?

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