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.
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.
How about you?