He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
~ Matthew 28:6
I woke up early this morning, and started responding to emails about 5:30 am. Not my normal habit to start work before I have my time to write and reflect, and especially that first cup of coffee, but the need out-weighed the want.
I hung up the phone with a coworker, responded to one more email, and then ventured out into the back yard with our two dogs. The sun was just illuminating the morning shadows, where the light overwhelms spaces and I watched as shadows became rays of light along our back fence. A gate that leads to a small lake behind our home drew my attention. I noticed a small image of "something," between the gate and the fence. Just above the gate lock I noticed a monarch chrysalis and I found myself face-to-face once again with the resurrection story. The story of Jesus, inside a tomb, protected by a large stone, with something amazing about to happen.
The gate serves no purpose for the chrysalis, except to maybe protect it from God's amazing miracle. Perhaps in the same way that the stone protected Jesus so that the resurrection could be realized.
So often we see things like doors, gates, and even the stone of a tomb, as things that are symbolic of separation, pain, or disappointments, when in actuality, they are often used as instruments to protect us, or prepare us for something different.
About now we could all use the reminder of the resurrection. As I read of friends remaining home for another month, and that our need to distance ourselves from one another must continue, I can't help but look at this image this morning and realize that we are still okay. Isolated, but not alone. Distant, but not separate. Empty, but full.
The resurrection remains the most amazing story of isolation. It is necessary for the "Hallelujahs" that followed. The words "He is risen!" cannot be declared unless there was the time in the tomb.
God did not forget about Jesus, just as God has not forgotten about you.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.