Let’s be honest, I’ll never see Easter the same way again. The story that has been familiar to me since I was five is ALIVE in new ways.
As I sat in that waiting room five short Saturdays ago, my mind was churning on all the words that had been delivered to me. Like heart attack and life support and it’s time to say goodbye. My mind kept sticking like a scratch on an old record on the word “widow.”
When the doctors and both attending nurses walked into that waiting room, I stood, expecting to hear the pronouncement, the time of death, the confirmation of this new title I never wanted. I mean, I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy, I know what happens when the attending physician comes in with backup.
Instead, the doctor’s eyes and mouth got wide at the same time as he said “I can’t explain it, but he’s awake, you should go see him!” One of the nurses then grabbed my hand and raced me down the hallway. She was practically skipping, proclaiming over and over again that she’d never seen anything like this, that it was a miracle. My steps were a little more stumbley and heavy, as my mind and heart tried to catch up.
And there he was. ALIVE! And mad – oh my gosh so blessedly mad at the tubes and so scared by the noises. His eyes were just as wide as before, but instead of blank orbs there was LIFE fighting to see and be seen. He was in way too much danger for anything more than a few minutes of sloppy kisses on his forehead and words to calm him and tell him he was so loved.
I went back to the waiting room to tell everyone it was true: He IS alive! A friend raced in moments later – I will never forget the sound of his flip-flops as they raced down the hall and into the waiting room, not pausing to round the corners, coming at full speed to my side, where both of our messy tears and words rambled through a series of “I heard he was gone? But that now he’s alive?” and “yes!” and “what!?” and “how can this be?” and “what does this mean?”
I imagine a very similar scene in “that other” sacred waiting room – the Upper Room where the disciples waited from Saturday to Sunday morning. Like me, Peter was trying to wrap his head and heart around watching his best friend as he was dying. Like me, they were preparing for a burial. I mean, you guys, the women went to the tomb to prepare the body for burial, not to check for resurrection.
And the women came and Peter probably stood. Or maybe he only half looked up. Because either way, he already knew what they were there to say. They came to pronounce that they had prepared the body.
Except they hadn’t.
Because his body wasn’t there.
Because he was IS alive.
And Peter ran. His feet flew to the tomb when he heard the words that Jesus was ALIVE … I don’t know whether he ran in confidence or confusion or with skipping feet or stumbling feet. But when I read of Saint Peter’s footsteps as he ran to the tomb, I will forever hear an echo of my own as I ran-stumbled down an ICU hallway. And I’ll hear those flip flops, too.
Because “He is alive!” is news that makes you run.
So I hope you run today. To the empty tomb. To life. To Jesus. Whether you have seen His new life with your own eyes or heard a report and are still figuring out what it means, whether you’re in ugg-boots or flip-flops, whether you’re running with confidence or stumbling along as someone else holds your hand. Run. Run to the news that HE IS ALIVE.
Because you guys, He is.