Stephen A. Peterson
Army Sergeant Molly Nesbit quietly walked through the little makeshift chapel in Afghanistan trying her best not to disturb the three other soldiers present. Sergeant Nesbit’s visit was unlike any previous one. This visit was to question God. She wanted to know why God caused her best friend to die yesterday. Sergeant Nancy Wright was a faith filled young woman who helped anyone, prayed daily for herself and others and never expected praise for all the good she did. Sergeant Nesbit, in approaching God, was both angry and fearful. She was not sure if she should God in her state of mind.
“Lord,” she stated with folded hands. “I’m here in prayer but I’m pretending to be prayerful. I’m extremely angry with You! I’m scared because I know You could crush me and my soul if I tell You what I’m thinking!”
As soon as Sergeant Nesbit closed her eyes, she saw a lamb walking alone on a dusty, remote road towards a remote village. A man, Sergeant Nesbit recognized as Jesus, walked behind the lamb, picked it up, cuddled it in his arms then carried it into the village. Jesus was met by a woman in as he neared.
“Lord,” she said. “My brother, Lazarus, would never have died if You were here. Why didn’t You come to heal him when we asked You? We sent several people to tell You he was sick. I know You got the message. These trusted people told us they told You. That was days ago, Jesus. Now he’s dead! I’m angry at You! Really angry at YOU!!!!
“Martha! Martha!” Jesus said in a calm voice. “Your brother will return on the last day.”
“Yes, yes, I know that! I believe that. But what about today? He’s dead! Martha responded angrily.
With that Jesus wept. “Come on, Martha, let’s go to his tomb. You and your sister.”
“Why go now? He’s dead I tell you! He’s been dead now for almost a week! He’s going to smell really bad by now!! What good will it do now?”
“I understand your anger, Martha. But let’s go to his tomb that the Father’s glory might be seen. Come, let’s go.”
“We’ll go with you but I don’t see what good it’ll do. He’s dead! I tell You!” Martha screamed back.
Still carrying the lamb, Jesus, Martha and Mary walked towards Lazarus’ tomb. As they made their way to the tomb, others recognized Jesus. With curiosity ruling their minds, they followed the growing group. Reaching the tomb, Jesus ordered some of the men in the group to remove the stone. They immediately did as Jesus commanded. Kneeling down, Jesus said a brief prayer. He entered the tomb, commanded Lazarus to get up. He did so. Lazarus and Jesus walked out together without the lamb. No one noticed. However, their joy that Lazarus is with them again superceded their lack of recognition and anger. Jesus simply walks away. He forgave Martha’s verbal anger and outrage.
Meanwhile, Sergeant Nesbit opens her eyes broken by the shuffling of soldiers entering the chapel to attend services that are about to begin in a matter of minutes. Since she entered the chapel, two hours had elapsed. She realized that Jesus had visited her to give her an answer about her friend. Sergeant Nesbit walked away from the chapel in peace, joy and a smile on her face causing wonderment among unit personnel.
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