It's Good Friday today. We read the story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion. This year it is special to me. More so than other years.
The power of a mob. The ruler who says your life is in my hands. The enraged crowd at Jesus' claim that He is the Son of God. The end. Or so it seems.
But then I see something else. Disciples whose quiet world was rocked. Who should have been expecting it, but still could not believe it. Some perhaps huddled in fear. Some watching nearby. Some perhaps at a distance. Watching. Horrified. Shocked. Tummies that heaved at what happened. Eyes that stared blankly.
Then God asked me a question. "How did Jesus treat His disciples after He met them again?" The question is especially valid for me right now. Something happened in our life, and we are recovering. The recovery has been interesting. Different responses from different people. Some leave me hurt. Some comfort a little. Others leave me empty. At times I feel like shaking people and asking, "Can you just listen for a minute?! Can you just ask?!" But I am largely quiet about what was hardest for me, what haunts me. A little skittish by the responses I have received, and not yet ready to open my heart.
But then came the question, "How did Jesus deal with His disciples after His death?" Got to admit, it would rank high on the scale of traumatic events!
So I sat here and thought. He appeared to them. He spoke gently to them. He said see, feel, touch, feed me. Not one rebuke. Not one "hey, come on, shape up" type of comment. And then there was Thomas, who missed the first reunion. And Jesus took time for him, too. "Here, put your finger in the holes in my hand" See, feel, touch.
Then He walked with them on the road to Ermaus, quietly talking and explaining. He did not just barge in and take over, but walked with them quietly talking.
He cooked a meal for them, and called them to eat.
He talked to Peter one on one because He knew Peter needed it.
He took time to just be with them. He did not rush them into work. He did not rebuke them for not knowing. He did not tell them to hurry up there is a world waiting for you.
He was gentle to them.
So I smiled. Between an inane conversation with the people I walked this evening with about various ways to kill slugs, I smiled. Daring to relax. It is ok. People may not know right now how to help me, but Jesus dealt well with His disciples after trauma, and I can rest with Him. He's not pushing me, and it's ok if I need to see, feel, and touch to believe right now. If I need to quietly walk with more questions than answers. He'll walk with me.
There have been the few that have responded well to me. A few that have been a relief to me in the middle of it. People who despite all going on around me have been there believing in me. Those few are like a warm bowl of milk - both comforting and nourishing. I am not saying that there are not those few - they have shown up in one way or another, just not with me, and I miss them. But part of it that I am not yet able to talk. But I value these people highly.