Good Friday Witness Mary Magdalen by Sara Sosa, pastor at Plymouth Covenant Church in Plymouth, MN
The smell of the earth fills me as I kneel on the hillside. I had long ago stopped looking at him on the cross. The weight of it, my grief, my sorrow, the exhaustion living in my bones made it impossible to stand any longer. I sank to my knees and fell forward, face to the ground, hands grabbing fists full of dirt. With every ragged breath, I can smell earth.
My tears won’t stop falling. I glance at his mother, so faithful in her prayers...she never takes her eyes from him. I’m not that strong. I have never been that strong...except for a brief moment when he restored my hope, when he gave me value, when his eyes and words showed me that I could be loved. I had hope then, but only agony now. He is dying...leaving. It hurts more than I would have imagined. It crushes my heart within my chest.
I try to raise my face to his. Just one last time to see him, to know him. But I am weak. I can’t bear to look at him on that cross. All can do is stare at the mud my tears create as they mingle with the earth. Then I hear his voice...quiet, strong...like him.
“It is finished.”
The thought echoes through my head with lightning speed...
His words rattle my soul. My despair increases. I force myself to look up and see him just as his eyes see me. Without a word, I know there is more. His eyes remind me: I have value. I am loved. His words linger in my mind, travel to my heart. As his eyes close and his head slumps forward, I hear “It is finished” but I feel “It has begun...”
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