My heart raced as I ran through the streets during the depth of night, dust flying in my wake. I was out of breath, chest aching, but I knew I couldn’t stop. What if I made eye contact with him? What if another stopped me to question?
“How could I do such a thing,” I thought. In fact, I was pleading with my heart and soul to answer this question so emphatically that I didn’t know if I had just thought this question or if I had just spoken it out loud. I was supposed to be the one that never fell away, the one who always remained steady. Weakness of the human existence became real to me in that moment. You would think that falling into the sea after moments of walking on waves would have been a wake-up call for me, but here I am. Why can my heart not trust?
I saw the lame men healed, the children brought to life, the ear of the soldier look as if it had never been cut off, but I still struggle to believe. Another gust of guilt overwhelmed my emotions and brought me to my knees. Tears streaming down my face, I knew that it was over. Any hope of an eternity absent of sorrow and pain was gone, ridden when I claimed to never know Him. I wept as I continued my journey home.
I tried to sleep that night, but the sorrow was unbearable. I desired that morning never come because I would have to face the questions of my friends and admit my denial. Flashbacks of conversations scrolled through my thoughts. I remembered my initial meeting with Jesus. I looked back on the promises I had made to never fall away and always remain faithful. Eventually, after many hours, I fell asleep, though I tossed and turned restlessly most the night.
A while later, thoughts of the pain I inflicted on Jesus still churned in my memory and all I wished was to see Him. To talk with Him. To beg Him for forgiveness and listen to His Truth. “Please, Lord. Reveal Yourself to me once more,” I said aloud.
Just then, Mary Magdalene and Mary, Mother of James, burst through the door with an energy and radiance that I had only recognized before as being in the presence of God. Through cries of joy, they screamed that Jesus was alive. They had seen the tomb and both repeated in awe, “It’s empty. Nothing there but the cloth He left behind!” Before I could run out the door, Mary Magdalene grabbed my robe and whispered, “The angel told us to tell the disciples and Peter. He mentioned you by name, Peter.”
Tears clouded my vision as I sprinted down dirt paths, leaped over stones and climbed through brush that seemed to endure for an eternity. My name. He called my name. The two most beautiful words in all my existence spoken just for me. As I arrived at the tomb, I entered to see only linen strips of cloth and a hollow tomb. Jesus left behind grave and death, resurrecting His own life and bringing us (even me, the one who fell away) the most precious gift to be given and treasured: renewal.
Mary-Gwen Williams is a follower of Christ, wife, first grade teacher, worship leader and blogger from a tiny town in North Carolina. She has a passion for teaching children and young women how to dive deeper into the Word of God. She spends most of her time at church, shopping every aisle of Target, sipping Dunkin Donuts or crying while watching This Is Us. You can check out more of her writings and thoughts at abidingandflourishing.blogspot.com.
This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services, including those available on Amazon.com, as Near Your Altar is a participating member in the Amazon Affiliate Program in addition to other retail affiliates. These affiliate links help provide for this website as well as a small income to my family and I. Please consider clicking on the links to purchase or to browse the affiliate's website, which will open in a new window. We thank you for your support. ~ Terrie
Read Disclosure Policy here