“Mary”

The tears slip from my eyes and darken the dust by my feet. Two days have passed and they’re still falling. But here I sit, in the shadow of his tomb, my shoulders somehow still shaking.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

I remember the blood. The nails. The broken skin. And now, his body is gone. The body of my friend and Lord. The soldiers came in the night and took the only part of him that we have left.

Sudden anger forces me to my feet and into the cave.

It’s cool. My first thought. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The next. An eerie quiet hangs over the stone. The grave-clothes are on the ledge as Peter had said. Folded.

‘Why are you weeping?’

A figure in white sits only a metre away. I frown through my tears.

‘They’ve taken my Lord away,’ I swallow. ‘I don’t know where they’ve laid him.’

And then I feel the presence of someone else behind me. The gardener.

‘Please,’ I turn to him. Desperate. ‘Tell me where he is.’

‘Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?’ This man’s voice is different. Rich and strong, like the sound of rushing water.

‘Please Sir, if you’ve carried him away, just tell me where he is, and I’ll take him.’

There’s a pause like the quiet before a storm. And then the gardener opens his mouth.

‘Mary.’

My tears freeze. My heart stops. And my eyes open, as if for the first time. His voice pounds through my head, my body, my whole being.

Mary. Mary. Mary.

And I realise that I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear it said that way. Like a bell that didn’t know it could sing until it was picked up and rung.

Mary.

All the fear, sorrow, and pain roll away. It falls off me; a snake shuddering off its skin. I am new. I am known. Because he’s alive.

He’s alive.