Saturday, April 04, 2009

Stony Reflections

Thought 1

I was reflecting on Mark 16:1-8 in my small group on Thursday. The passage says that the women were on the way to the tomb to anoint Jesus body with spices, as they were travelling they realized that they would need help to roll away the stone from the entrance to get to the body. When the women reach the tomb they discover the stone already rolled aside and an figure dressed in white telling them that Jesus isn't there. They leave, but they are too afraid to tell what they have seen.

Assume for a moment a change in the narrative.

The women reach the tomb not knowing that it's empty. They strain for a very long time to move the stone, after many hours the stone begins to move, slowly they continue pushing until eventually it rolls to one side. Exhausted they pick up their spices and oils to anoint Jesus body...but when they walk in, they discover an empty tomb.

That change in the narrative is my life. It feels like I wasted a large portion of my life trying to move a 'stone'. I was convinced that the 'stone' stood' between me and Jesus, and that if I could somehow remove that block I would have access to God. I convinced myself that moving that blockage was vital. I poured my time, energy and money into changing something, into moving the immovable... surprise mirrored the surprise of the women when one day, by an act of God, I discovered that the stone wasn't in the way of my getting to God....God was not behind the stone, he was somewhere else entirely.

And like the women, I am afraid to speak what I have discovered for fear that I will be misunderstood or thought mad.

The stone isn't the problem. My expectations and understandings were the problem. God was not where I expected him to be. if you are wrestling with something, something that keeps you awake at night crying tears of frustration, something that causes wordless prayers of desperation to rise up from the very core of you, it could be you are trying to move a 'stone' that doesn't need to be moved, it could be that the very place where you think God is, is just an empty dusty tomb.

Thought 2

I wrote the following song on Easter Sunday 2001 at the height of my depression. I no longer feel this way, I haven't felt this way for quite a while. It's nice to look back and see growth.

Put Back the Stone

Put back the stone Lord that closed up Your tomb,
I don’t want to see that there’s plenty of room.
I want to believe that Your body’s still there,
So close up the tomb Lord and I’ll be unaware.

Where are the angels who rolled it away?
Bringing in sunlight that first Easter day.
Can they roll it back please and shut the grave tight,
So I can still live just like I lived last night?

Pick up the grave clothes put them back on
Lie down in the silence; I’ll pretend that You’re gone
With no Resurrection to shatter my views
My conscience won’t prick me; I’ll live as I choose

So put back the stone Lord I don’t want to see
A tomb that is empty; a tomb meant for me
And lying within amid grave clothes and dust
My shame and my struggles, my fear and disgust

That tomb is not empty; it’s filled with my sin
So put back the stone, I don’t want to see in.
For I’ve learned to love all the sin that I crave,
I don’t want to quit; I don’t want to behave!

My heart is like granite, heavy and cold
Hardened by faith that’s grown fickle and old
But don’t take it to soften, leave me alone
Your healing hurts Lord, just back the stone.


Deidra said...

That is deep my friend but thanks.

ben said...

that's some good reflection there. i myself think at times i'm trying to "move stones", only to discover that it's futile, not god's plan/will, etc.