The day of rest past –
rest prescribed by law,
rest that refreshed her body
and eased the fatigue of the harrowing day spent at Golgotha,
yet brought no relief to her grief –
Mary [Magdalene] made her way early
to the garden where the priceless treasure of her master’s body lay,
that tabernacle so cruelly ransacked and emptied of the glow of life.
Night’s veil was not yet lifted from the earth,
but already a faint glimmer spilled over the horizon’s edge,
pushing back the shadows
and spreading its soft light through the garden as Mary entered there.
Yet even as the dawn began to break,
desolate darkness and black fear blinded her eyes,
for she’d come in one last act of kindness
to anoint her Beloved with sweet spices –
and found the tomb and grave cloths empty
and his body gone!
“O Gardener, tell me where you’ve laid my Lord,
that I might see him once again!”
Then Mary heard her name
as only he could speak it
and knew him in the sound of it.
Joy rushed in upon her,
and in the morning sun,
her heart was filled
(like the garden ’round about her)
with new life and vitality.
I too seek my Lord with love’s longing.
Now go to him, my soul.
You’ll find him (as Mary did so long ago)
waiting for you in the garden as in a lovers’ trysting place.
In that fair place
where seed has fallen to its death
(buried in its own earthen grave beside his tomb)
and now springs forth in fruitfulness and fragrance,
he wipes away all tears
and speaks my name in voice my ears have ever strained to hear,
restorer of my life
and herald of my wakening into eternity.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Jeanne Kun
Top image: “Noli Me Tangere” (Do Not Touch Me), painting by Titian, 1511-12, National Gallery, London, UK. In the public domain. Source: Commons Wikimedia.
From the series: Awakened to Eternity: A spiritual journey of poems reflecting on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by Jeanne Kun
Follow links to other poems in this series:
Jeanne Kun is a noted author, and a member of Bethany Association, an international, ecumenical association of women living single for the Lord in various communities of The Sword of the Spirit, and a senior woman leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.