They’re all bold as love

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” 

John 20:11-16

Imagine the state of mind that Mary must have been in that, when she saw two angels sitting in the empty tomb, she did not instantly say “oh shit, angels!” In case you missed it1, angels are not necessarily your friend. They are God’s friends, so maybe Mary figured that she had an in with the angels because she knew God’s son. I suspect Mary was not thinking about the angels much at all, really.

She was looking for Jesus, the one who had healed her. When Mary was pulled to the point of breaking by seven devils going seven different directions, Christ’s love had provided an axis by which her spirit could be aligned. And now what? Going back to being torn apart is not an option. The week they had just gone through was enough to convince her that the only way was ahead.

That week had everything: Anger, jealousy, and envy wrapped in her green imperial gown; the confident red cloaks lining the way on Palm Sunday, the yellow moon lighting a fearful night in Gethsemane. Maybe Mary hoped that the colors would wash out and be dulled by the rising sun. Maybe her emotions would get buried with her friend. If she could find him.

Instead he finds her. Jesus turns her around again, orbiting an axis through the specific gravity of her name. Christ shows her how all of the colors of her life are in motion around that axis too. Everything that she has experienced and that he has experienced is being turned toward that center in which all things are reconciled, where all things are made new. And they’re all bold as love. Just ask the axis.

  1. Isaiah 6:1-8 ↩︎