I had cried all the tears I could have cried, yet still I longed to cry some more. Sitting on a lonely green hill overlooking the city cemetery, I watched the morning sun slowly rise. On almost any other, I would have been elated with joy to see such a sunrise. The sky was clear, with only a few wispy clouds breaking the canvas of dark blue.
I had been here since they buried my one true love. We were not married, not even engaged to be married. I doubt that would have ever been the case. He was much too good for a woman like me. But he loved me as no one ever could, a pure love that only a man of God could give. He was a young minister who had only been in town for a few years. He built up a following, then he would say something many thought too hard, and they would walk away from him. It seemed he made more enemies than friends, something I could not understand. Everything about him was from God. I guess he made them aware that God's way and man's ways are often at odds.
In the last few days before he was murdered, he only had a handful of people who still followed him; and even we deserted him at the time he needed us most. We feared for our lives so we ran and hid. If I could relive that moment I would rather have died with him than to live as I do now.
The sun had been up for almost an hour, when I decided for the first time since he was buried, to go to his grave site. My legs were weak and my countenance low as I made my way through the many graves. Some were marked, others were not; some very old, maybe centuries old, others fresh as the morning dew. Still I walked slowly, praying for some sort of miracle, but what sort? There were no miracles that could mend the broken heart that beat within my breast.
I was several yards away when I gasped. I could not believe what I saw. Someone had opened his grave. “Why would anyone do such a thing?” I had heard of grave robbers, but not around here, not now days. People don’t do things like that anymore; we are a more civilized people now.
I ran as fast as I could to the grave site, and when I arrived I could see it was empty. They not only opened his grave, but took his body. I feel on my knees and began to weep. But before the first tears could flow down my cheek I caught a glimpse of someone near by. I only looked up enough to see some man standing by the empty grave.
I said through my tears, “Sir, do you know what they did with him?”
The man did not speak. I was too embarrassed from all my crying to make eye contact with him. I opened my mouth again and spoke through quivering lips, “They have taken him away. Please, have mercy, if you know where they have taken him, please tell me.”
The man remained silent for a moment, then with a smiling voice he said, “Mary?”
I knew that voice; there was no mistaking his voice. I looked up into his face and I could see his beautiful eyes. His face was much different from the last time I saw it. Last time I saw his face, it was cut, bruised and bloody; his beard had been plucked out and a cruel crown of thorns beaten upon his head.
He now looked more like I remembered before his trial and crucifixion.
I jumped to my feet and before I could even think, I did what I never dared do before; I flung my arms tight around his neck and kissed his cheek.
“Mary,” he said with a chuckle, “don’t choke me, for I haven’t yet ascended into heaven.”
I loosened my hug and we both started to laugh at his joke.
After a few minutes he told me to go back, find Peter and the others and tell them what I have seen. I said, “Lord, they will not believe me.”
“I didn’t ask you to make them believe you, only tell them.”