Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)
TITLE: The Greatest Moment
By Sarah Elisabeth
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The darkness closed in on Mary’s chest as she stared into the starless sky. Would the darkness come to her soul this time? Would it once again consume the very air she breathed?
Mary could no longer wait for the sun’s light. Gathering a few clay jars, she stepped from the house and started down the road. She was aware of the quiet footsteps that followed her. It was comforting to know she was not alone in her world of grief.
The sun still refused to show itself as Mary strained to make out the form of the tomb. The pound of her own heart overlaid the soft exclamations of the other women as Mary touched the cold rock. Her eyes moved from the stone, taller than she, to the black opening.
The first ray of the sun penetrated the dark interior. Mary heard only her own gasp as the light revealed the vacant room.
Tears pooling in her eyes, Mary felt the spice jars slip from her fingers and crash on the rocks. She jerked away and fled. There was only one place she could go, one thing she could do.
“Peter! John! You must come quickly. They have taken away the Lord from the tomb. We do not know where they have taken Him!” Mary could scarcely catch her breath as she watched the two disciples run down the road, their sandaled feet sending pebbles flying.
Hand pressed to her heart, Mary followed, exchanging pained glances with the sobbing women who were returning to the house.
Stumbling on the loose rocks, Mary pitched forward and crashed onto her knees. Groaning, she lifted her face to the rising sun.
“Why?” cried Mary, her hands reaching up to cover her burning heart. “Was my grief not enough? Must I be separated from my Lord forever?”
The sound of footsteps brought Mary’s focus back to the road in front of her. Simon Peter met her eyes as Mary rose to her feet, the unspoken question hanging between them. Peter gave her a troubled shake of his head. Shoulders hunched, he continued back to the house.
Mary’s feet refused to move. How could she go back without knowing? Yet where could she go for answers?
Something in John’s eyes, in his voice, caused Mary’s pulse to quicken. Studying his countenance, Mary knew he had seen something. Did he know where they had taken the Lord?
John said nothing else but continued on the path behind Simon Peter.
The grief crushingly fresh, Mary turned her sandaled feet toward the tomb again. She would not – she could not – leave until she knew where her precious Lord was.
In spite of the sun warming her back, a chill coursed through Mary’s body as her bare hand rested flat against the stone that had sealed the tomb. Another sob rocked her body as she dipped her head to gaze inside.
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
Brushing the tears aside, Mary stared at the man whose floating voice had spoken the question. He sat at the head where her Lord had lain.
Choking on the lump in her throat, Mary struggled with her answer. How could she explain to this stranger how her Lord had rescued her from the dark pit of demon possession and brought her into the light of His love? How could she convey the depth of her love and gratitude she felt toward her Master and Teacher? How could her grief be summed in mere words?
“They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” What more could she say? Mary could hardly breathe for the sobs that overcame her.
Unable to bear the emptiness of the tomb, Mary turned to let the sun touch her face. But the Gardener who stood in her path blocked the soothing rays from her.
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
Had she not just answered this question? How long would she be tormented?
“Please, Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him and I will take Him away.”
Heart weighted beyond endurance, Mary longed for the relieving warmth of the risen sun.
The voice was unmistakable. Mary felt her head lighten as her heart exploded with joy. Her tears dried. Her vision cleared as she gazed upon the face outlined by the beams of sunlight. Eternal light flooded her soul. There was only one word she could breath.
Based on the account of the Resurrection in John 20:1-16 NKJV
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