violette

violette
Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Surprised by God

It must have been a misty morning. That, and the tears blinding her eyes, would have helped explain why Mary Magdalene failed to recognise the man standing before her. And then there would have been the trauma and shock. Who expects to see a dead man walking around a garden? - especially a man you watched die only two days ago, a man whose body was broken and bloodied. So, when you go to this man's grave and find his body missing, of course you don't assume he has risen from the dead (even if in that agonised, panicked moment you can remember the things he used to say about this); you naturally assume cruelty and malice, on top of the cruelty already heaped on his dead and dying body.

And then he spoke, just one word, but it was enough. In hearing that one word - her name - the mist lifted and the joyous sun of recognition shone through.

Several times I have met a friend in an unexpected place. The encounter always follows a similar pattern: the intial sighting ("can it be...?"); then the disbelief ("no, can't be, what would she be doing here...?"); maybe a double take or two, an attempt to catch their eye, and then, finally, the moment of certainty - "yes, it IS...!" Our initial words invariably express our disbelief ("what are YOU doing here?") alongside our joy ("but what a lovely surprise...!")

We celebrate many things at Easter, and one of them is a God who delights in surprising us; a God who bursts in on our lives with a huge smile, saying the divine equivalent of "boo!" A God who springs up in new and unexpected places, and calls us to go beyond the known and predictable. A God whose appearance can be swift and sudden, or gradual, as daybreak; a God we might recognise in an instant, or maybe only after double takes... or even later, upon reflection, and with memories of hearts burning within us. We're as likely to meet this God through the opening of the scriptures as we are through something as mundane as a fish meal, lovingly prepared. And this encounter could radically transform our lives, or simply enable us to understand something anew. One never knows, because, truly, this is a God who delights in keeping us on our toes!

Happy Easter everyone... and wishing you all the joy of Jesus's presence in new and unexpected places.

3 comments:

  1. Happy Easter, Silvana. Your thought reminded me of the difference between real death and Resurrection. When someone close has died we often think we see them in a crowd, in the street but in going up to them realise that it is not in fact our loved one but a stranger!

    Love, Steph

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  2. Thanks - happy feast of the Resurrection
    Silvana xx

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  3. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POST GIFT CAN COEMIN THE UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER AND I TALK FOR EXPERIANCE HAHAHA ILL EXPLAINA NOTHER TIME BLESS YOU

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