I Am Here

The women were quiet. Women working together had never been so quiet. They prepared the spices, moving silently and slowly around the house. They gathered the essential oils and put them in jars to carry to the tomb. The night had never been so dark or so silent.
Unlike His birth—that was not a silent might. Mary allowed herself a moment to remember— The animals stirring with soft moos or brays. The munching of hay or settling to rest. But not for her. The birth pains started coming closer and the sounds of a baby coming into the world broke the stillness. She smiled at the thought of that not-so-silent night.
Then the painful reason for her present task shattered the tender memory. She looked around the kitchen at the other women. Tears on every face, eyes cast down, hands busy. This was no time to crumble, no matter how broken she suddenly felt. She must prepare her son’s body for the grave.
After preparations were complete, the women settled to bed filled with sadness and confusion. It would be a very long Sabbath day. So it is not surprising that the women were up before dawn and headed for the tomb. They had slept little and talked less. As they arrived, they wondered how they could roll away the stone that they had watched the guards put in front of the mouth of the grave. Even with this concern, they continued making their way up to the tomb—“What else can we do?”
“Where can I go, Jesus? You were my life, my friend and my Hope!”
As Peter and John rushed beyond, saw the empty tomb, Mary collapsed on a stone and wept in despair.
His voice broke through her tears. “I am here.”

— Peggy Roy