Easter

It’s early morning – the sun has yet to rise and there’s a chill in the air. A heavy heart weighs everything else down. Of all the days since the catastrophe, this one will be the hardest as she prepares to revisit the scene of the crime, the place where all her hopes came crashing down. Heartache. Pain around the chest, shortness of breath, every movement a struggle. But there is one last thing to do, a final act of love, a love so deep that it’s ready to rip the heart right out of the body.

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Everything is in disarray. All his friends are in hiding or have already decided to move on. Move on? How will she ever “move on?” Unfair. Is there really a God if something like this can happen? Doesn’t he care? Is there no cosmic concern for justice? Of all the people to die, to be murdered, why him? All he ever did was good. Oh sure, he had that way of seeing right through you, making you feel uncomfortable at times. And then he’d say things to certain people, usually the professional religious types, that would just send them up the walls.

He had this way of talking, where I was never quite sure what he was getting at. So I’d keep thinking about what he said over and over, turning each phrase in my mind. It wasn’t a hard task, not when you love someone. What was hard was watching the way he was treated at the end. Torture. It’s not that unusual around here with these foreign soldiers everywhere. But this time they seemed to go overboard, like they finally came unglued and let it all fall onto him.

I wasn’t surprised when he fell; I was shocked to see how badly they’d beat him and wondered at how he was even alive. But he was. He was so strong, in the prime of his life. That’s why he lived so long through the torture and the execution. I’d hoped for more, far more, and now I live in the land of broken dreams.

How do you fix a broken heart? How do you ever dream again once your highest dreams have been shattered?

I can’t eat. I haven’t for days now – just can’t stand the thought. I wonder how I’ll get past the guards? And the entrance is blocked. I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there. I’m meeting some of the other women and we’ll go together – safety in numbers with these soldiers around.

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I still can’t believe it. Is it possible? Did I dream this? I can’t stop crying, but this time it’s for the thought that my eyes have not deceived me, that I really saw him and he’s not dead! I don’t understand this, can’t understand this, but he came to me – to me! – and called my name. I hadn’t recognized him (how could I not have recognized him, how could I not recognize my love?). I thought he was a gardener!

He told me to tell the others. Will they believe me? Who cares! My love is alive and the heartache I feel now is for joy. I can’t stop crying, I can hardly breathe. When will I get to see him again? What if I dreamed all this? No. I did not. However this happened, I know I did not dream this.

He called me by my name.