Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words.Luke 24:1-8
There is a thing I learned as a Chaplain intern: keeping promises is important. Sometimes, when nothing else can be promised, telling someone you will see them tomorrow — and then actually seeing them tomorrow — can bring a sense of stability. In my role, I wasn’t usually able to affect a specific change in a person’s care, but for a person who is lying in pain, for a family member who is nothing but anxious, it makes a difference that someone would not only come to visit, but also that they would return like they said they would.
When you have lived life like Guy Clark lived his life, there may have been precious few promises kept. His best friend, Townes, loved his wife, Susanna, and she loved them both. Guy and Susanna were both devastated when Townes died. What they had left were each other and a world of hurt. Those thing could work together to build an ark or ignite a maelstrom. As it turned out, they rocked with each other through the storm.
How hard was it for Guy and Susanna to keep their promises to each other? How hard was it for Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and all of the women who had stood at the foot of the cross to keep their promises to themselves and to God? How hard was it for them to go to the tomb at first light, having felt betrayed by their hopes?
God knows the depths of our hurt. God knows that, even on a morning like this, not all of the hurt can be healed. It takes time, and time takes time. Yet it all starts with a promise. It starts with the realization that Jesus hasn’t lied about anything. He knows this is not our first disappointment, and trusting in the realization that he has kept his promise will be the work of a lifetime. But just wait until tomorrow when you wake up with him at your side.