11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
That is John 20, the part of the resurrection story that is especially real to me this spring. I think of Mary, her eyes flooded with tears, heart torn with grief, soul bereft of hope. All she was wanting to do was take care of the body of Jesus, to make sure that He was properly buried so that she could somehow move on, back into the life she lived before Jesus. And then… Then came that personal touch: “Mary.” And she knew, without a doubt, that He was alive and all would be well!
I can’t really describe what this does to me, this personal touch. I have been there, tear-blinded, sure that hope was dead, that situations were beyond redemption, that I was somehow forgotten. I just wanted to bury the dead body and forget. But because Jesus was alive, alive in me, despite how I felt about the impossible present… in the moment of greatest need I heard Him speak to me and I knew that He was alive and all would be well.