But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
Everyone went home.
But Mary didn’t go back to her home like the other disciples did, after they saw that the graveyard had been dug up and the corpse had disappeared. The other disciples needed some space. They needed to step away. They had suffered a huge loss, and now the normal patterns of grieving were disturbed. They went home, left the tomb, because the combination of their mourning and the new ambiguity was too much to process. There wasn’t any reason to stay. Grief and confusion are a terrible mix. Sometimes, it’s easier to walk away from them altogether. And what’s the point of staying? What’s done is done.
But Mary stood weeping.
She wasn’t ready to stop crying yet.
She wasn’t ready to walk away from the place that hurt her so much.
And while she cried at the tomb,
“…she turned around and saw Jesus standing there.”
Mary stayed at the tomb, and Mary saw Jesus. Because she stayed, because she wasn’t done weeping yet, because her heart was broken and the only thing she had left was to cry at the place that broke her heart – not despite, but because she is mourning, she sees the Lord.
Jesus not only honored Mary. Jesus honored Mary’s tears, and Jesus honored Mary’s tenacity to honor her own tears.
Mary is the first follower of Jesus that sees Him resurrected. Because Mary honored her tears, she becomes the “Apostle to the Apostles,” the first human to preach the Gospel, running to her brothers and announcing “I have seen the Lord!!”
Her tears weren’t an impediment to her ministry. They fueled her ministry, by bringing her face to face with Jesus.
Are you being rushed away from grief?
Are people shooing you away from tombs in your life, uncomfortable with how long your process is taking, confused by how deep the sadness is running, frustrated that you’re hurting your work, legitimately dismayed for your own well being because you are still weeping by an old tomb while everyone else has gone home?
Don’t let them tell you that it’s time to go.
Wait there for Jesus.