Incident brings up thoughts of Bible verses


Not everyone would have gotten out of their car, gone back into the CVS drugstore and dropped to their knees to look for a contact lens on the carpet near the register. That’s what I did. The store wasn’t busy that Saturday morning. If I wanted to explain what I was doing there was no one to tell. No one was around the front of the store. Soon large feet surrounded me. A voice said, “Are you ok? Do you need help getting up?”

I was searching. Desperately looking for something I had lost. I wasn’t sure I could safely drive home. Since my eye had given me trouble as I waited in line to get my item, I figured the contact lens had just slipped off my eyeball but was still in my eye somewhere. Usually I can just wiggle it back onto position. But it didn’t happen while I was in line, I paid for my item and went out to my car. I figured using the lighted visor mirror in my car would help. But the mirror only confirmed the lens was gone. It had to be where I had rubbed my eye while in line. The carpet at the checkout.

This happened the Saturday before Easter, and it made me think of the women who went early the next morning thinking they were going to find Jesus’ body in the tomb where they had seen him laid. Not only was the stone covering the tomb moved away, but they found the tomb empty. Each of the four Gospels has a different take on this story of the women looking for Jesus’ body.

Mark 16 verse one states, “When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.” They were alarmed, but a young man dressed in a white robe told them not to be afraid. Jesus had been raised and they were to go tell his disciples that Jesus had gone ahead of them into Galilee. In Matthew’s gospel, the women experience a huge earthquake when they arrive at the tomb and an angel of the Lord appears and rolls the stone away so they can see Jesus is not there. The angel tells the women not to be afraid. The risen Jesus greets the women in Matthew and tells them to tell the others to look for him in Galilee. Chapter 24 of Luke speaks of those who went to the tomb as, “they.” “They” found the stone rolled away, went in and did not find what they were looking for. They are to go and tell the others. Then the women are named: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and “the other women with them.” Sounds like there was a group of women in Luke’s version.

Losing my contact lens and desperately searching for it actually reminded me of John chapter 20. Mary Magdalene was distraught, saying, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” After her alarm to the disciples, two of them checked out the empty tomb. Finding it empty, the men left and went back to their homes. Mary stood their weeping. She wasn’t going to give up looking for the body of the Lord she loved so deeply. As she weeps, she bends into the tomb, but this time she sees two angels. They ask why she is weeping and once again she says, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” At this point she turns and sees a man she perceives to be a gardener, but it is the risen Lord, who asks her why she is weeping. “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him.” Then Jesus calls her by name. “Mary.” Hearing her name she now recognizes the man as her Lord.

A male voice said, “You should have her look for it. She probably has eyes like a hawk.” I am still on my knees with one eye able to see while crawling around on the carpet. A pair of little hands and knees join me on the floor. “Is this it?” a little voice asks. A woman’s voice gently instructs, “Don’t touch it honey.” I offered to buy her ice cream. I was so grateful. Her mother declined politely. What a little angel. I felt blessed and had no trouble finding my way home.

Rev. Patricia Stout is a retired Presbyterian minister and a substitute teacher in Delaware County.

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