Read it Again
Robert Pirsig who wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has this great quote – now I can’t even remember where I first heard it. Pirsig says: “The truth knocks at the door and you answer it. You say, “Go away, I’m waiting for the truth.” And so, the truth goes away, puzzling.” I thought of that quote this morning as I revisited the resurrection narratives from the gospels, my favorite from the gospel of John.
Reading John 20, the story of the empty tomb, is a bit like watching a movie you’ve seen too many times. It’s gut wrenching, at first. I want to say to Mary, “It’s Jesus! Not a gardener!” Or “It’s not empty because they’ve taken him – he’s risen!”
But what good would that do to someone completely incapsulated in their grief?
Mary is so beside herself she has forgotten God’s promise; she is so overcome by the fact that Jesus is gone she doesn’t even notice he’s standing before her until he calls her name, “Mary.”
Pirsig might say, the truth knocked on her door and she said ‘go away.’ Except, truth doesn’t go away. Instead, Truth speaks her name.
It’s hard to blog Easter. You probably can tell that I am struggling. It is the crux of our Christian faith, but it has also become a spectacle. It’s the big day when we pull out extra parking spots and chairs, lilies and brass instruments. We do that because it is our sacred feast and high holy day, but sometimes we’re like Mary – so caught up in our response we forget to pause and see the thing itself.
So, readers, a simple invitation for this day: Read it again. In the quiet of your morning routine or on the screen of your phone when you catch a break after brunch in the bathroom. Pull up your favorite gospel and read the words, roll through the responses, of that first Easter morning. Let it speak to you afresh …and may the truth knock on your door this day and call you by name.