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Seeing the Garden

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).John 20:11-16

We continue in this posture of seeing and it is becoming clearer that it is hard for us to truly see. To see the resurrection joy. The lenses through which we see are, at times, coated with grief, fear, lack of understanding and misplaced attachments…just to name a few.

Mary thinks that someone has taken Jesus away from her and this makes her distraught. She “sees” Jesus but thinks He is the Gardener.


Mary is in the re-created Garden that was lost in Genesis. Christ’s death and resurrection has placed her there, restoring the intimacy between God and the people He has made for Himself. But Mary can’t see. She sees Christ as the Gardener but not as her Jesus. Until Jesus says her name. How must He have said her name with such tender knowing. Her eyes are opened to see. With incredulous joy she recognizes Him and cries out His name in return: Rabboni!


Prayer Exercise:

1. Acknowledge where Jesus seems absent in your life.

2. Sit in silence and allow the Spirit to bring up an awareness of your desire to “see” Him.

3. Imagine that you are in a garden. Sit and think with the Spirit about how the resurrection brings us back to intimacy with the Triune God. Think about how you belong in this garden. Here you are truly at home. Allow other thoughts around this to surface.

4. Imagine Jesus calling your name. The Father called Adam and Eve’s names when they disobeyed Him in the first garden. They had to face the loss of intimacy. Now you are being called to see that you are welcomed into the Garden – a Garden of Grace – a place of forever-intimacy. Stay here. Listen to Jesus say your name a few times. He wants you to see Him, to recognize Him, to know the joy of the restored Garden.

5. What do you want to call Him? So many names belong to Him, for He is our All in All. Call His Name in return.

6. Talk to Him about the joy of seeing that His resurrection has restored you into intimacy, belonging and union with God.


Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum-Unsplash

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