She wore a pink tutu and even though she was just a toddler, her movements reflected the inner dance-the joy-that such dress invokes. Her dark eyes matched her shoulder-length curls, which bobbed with each step.
She spotted the wall of wooden lockers and immediately pulled one open, scanning its contents. Even though it was empty, she was delighted. She closed it with authority before opening another one of a different size. She lifted her arms out to her side with the palms up, an unspoken rhetorical “what?” as she quietly turned toward Mom.
Not interested in a response, she turned back to the wall and opened yet another, her small gold bracelet catching the overhead light. This time she raised her arms in victory.
The pattern, reminiscent of a child playing with the empty box at Christmas, continued for at least 5 minutes. Her actions brought to mind the old “Let’s Make a Deal” TV show with Monty Hall.
“What’s behind door No. 3?”
It was the day before Easter, Holy Saturday, and I couldn’t help but relate it to the tomb.
During our “Easter Basket” service on Sunday, Marla started our collaborative service by reading Luke 24, the provoking narrative of the empty tomb. A few verses earlier, at the end of 23, author Luke shares that several women are preparing burial spices and ointments for Jesus’ body.
Can you picture what is going through their minds?
They were faithful followers, anticipating an adventurous future with their anointed leader. But now he was gone. Imagine the dread of having to roll back the stone and apply the burial dressings to his lifeless body. In a culture where we relegate post-mortem activities to caretakers and funeral directors, it is hard to fathom the sacred ritual of preparing a loved one for burial.
They are heartbroken but they don’t have the luxury of waiting until the mortician welcomes everyone for a neatly choreographed farewell service.
So they gather together spices and head to the tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. But when they get there, not only is the stone rolled away, but the tomb is also empty.
It was the picture of what I saw last Saturday when a little girl opens an empty locker and steps back, arms out with the palms up, an unspoken rhetorical “what?” as she quietly turned toward Mom; only this time the empty tomb question is directed to God the Father.
Consider all of the doors we open and close each day. As Christ-followers we aim to pursue only those opened by our Savior. So many times, though, we are confused about where they lead and if we are pursuing them with the right motives. On the surface, an empty door appears disappointing and Monty Hall apologizes to the contestant for selecting the losing prize. But in the context of what transpired on Resurrection morning, the empty tomb leads us to something far more valuable than a vault of gold.
May we pursue it with childlike joy. Tutu optional.
Dancing with you,
Photo by Caleb Woods/Unsplash