Yes, I know it's been two weeks since I've blogged. Yes, I just got back from Monserrat and it was wonderful. Yes, I have a ton of stuff to share (and to say!!! lol) with you,but that will come later. I need to share something else with you this morning.
On the retreat, we would take a passage out of the bible and sit with it on our own. What moved us? What resonated with us (this is known as Ignatius study). Many things resonated with me this weekend, different passages that I'll share with you later. However, at this moment, I want to share one in particular with you.
Mark 16: 4-8
When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a yong man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples ad Peter, "He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." They then went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
So you have these women going to go tend to Jesus' body. They're wondering how they're going to move this big huge rock. I mean, scripture even says "it was very large". Then, they see the angel. This is what gets me. The angel says "Do not be amazed." Not and exclamation point DO NOT BE AMAZED! like he's the great and powerful oz or something. It's said calmly b/c the angel knows these women will be frightened. Do not be amazed. This could be taken a couple of ways...do not be amazed, I am an angel here to talk to you. Do not be amazed, the stone was rolled back, or do not be amazed He is not here. I'm thinking it's a culmination of the three. But mostly, I think it's don't be amazed, he is going before you....as he TOLD you. It's like when you tell your kids something. They hear you, but they don't actually believe you. Then when it happens, like you said it would, they are amazed. Here, the angel is saying not to be amazed. We heard, we believed, but we didn't exactly understand what Jesus meant. So, now we see the tomb is empty, there's an angel sitting there, and we are amazed.
You know, God consistently, constantly amazes me. All the time. I've even said this to Julie (shout out to Julie!!! I had such an awesome time with you!!!). I am always in awe of God. He does so much for us we don't even imagine or realize that we have no choice but to be in awe. And, truth be told, I don't think I ever want to get to the point where He doesn't amaze or awe me anymore. That His works become common place "yup, just another miracle today. Yes, yes, I saw the sunset...seen one, you've seen 'em all". That would be missing out on one of the many joys of life.
I'll tell you what does amaze me. And to this day, George cannot figure it out. You. Each of you, my friends. I am amazed that each of you are friends with me. It's like all of you are Jesus (and you are to me) being friends with the tax collector. Ask Carol. She'll tell you. It took a very long time for me to accept that she loves me unconditionally. That she would call me. That it wasn't a one way friendship. That she truly loves and cares about my well being. That we can goof around together. That she knows I am an acquired taste, and love me anyway. I have felt the same way about each of you. It takes me a good two years with each of you, some longer. It still amazes me that Julie, one of the greatest spiritual people I know wants to know "what she's done to deserve such a great friend like me". That boggles my mind. Each of you, amaze me with your love, your friendship and your acceptance. This amazes George. He cannot figure out why I feel this way. I'll tell you what I tell him. My past. I had no friends. It's not an excuse, but rather a fact. I just didn't. And, I can thank God that I didn't. Because the friendships I have now. The ones with all of you, are true and real and exceptionally special. And, I hold each of you close inside my heart.
So, the angel says Do not be amazed. No offense to angels or that one in particular, but I'll keep my amazement in God, His works, and all of you!
Until next time,
What amazes you?