Mary of Bethany: He Cried (Easter reading, part II)

Renee Ann Smith —  March 25, 2013 — 23 Comments

There was a time
When my heart sang
His name,
My Beloved,
My Teacher,
My Friend,
Who came to our table,
Sheltered under our roof,
And oft shared the proof
Of His favor
For all to see.
I savored His words,
Made my place at His feet,
Touched the hem
Of His robe,
And silently breathed a prayer
That my love would bind Him
To us.

I laugh to think of it now.
How foolish to imagine
That Yahweh’s Lovely Son
Could settle down
Before His work was done.

When He was not with us,
Visitors brought word
Of his adventures,
Healing the sick
Feeding the hungry.
And teaching the thousands
Who flocked to hear.
Oh, how I missed His voice.
How I longed for His return.
No stories could replace
His dear face,
His contagious laugh,
Or the joy His presence
Spread throughout the place.

But crisis drew my thoughts
Away from our Friend
One morning when
Our sweet brother could not
Lift his head from his cot.
The learned physician
Tried in vain to cool the fever
That shook his frame,
But Lazarus grew worse.
Days passed while
Death tormented our brother’s weakened body
Like a wild beast ravaging
Some smaller creature
In his mighty jaws.

We sent a message to the Teacher.
“The one you love
Needs you,” we said.
“Come soon or You
May find him dead.”

As we waited
For the familiar step
On the stair,
For the hands
That could heal with a touch
We sat by brother’s side,
Bathed his head,
Prayed and cried
We comforted him and
Did our best to ease his pain
While our hearts grew cold and heavy

For the Teacher never came.

Now my heart is silent
I have no songs left to sing.
Questions haunt me,
Burning my
Throat with their bitterness:
Why did He remain apart?
Why did He forsake
When I needed Him most?
Is this desolation
What following Him costs?

Now my broken dreams
Lie buried with my brother
In his grave
And the One who could’ve
Saved him
Comes, at last, and
Calls to me.
I fall at His feet,
Touch the hem of His robe,
And unbidden the words
Boil up and spill over,
“Lord, if You had been at his side
My brother would not have died.”

My accusation hits Him like a blow.
Yet He opens not His mouth.
As I search
For an answer in His eyes,
Jesus cries.

He cries.
For Lazarus.
And for me.

His tears water
A seed of hope
Resting dormant within me.
I feel a sharp pain
As a tender green shoot
Breaks through my hard shell
And trust begins to grow.

This is how He will
Cultivate my faith
Until it is deep and strong
Enough to weather circumstances
And keep my song
Through any test He sends.
But however painful
The process was for me,
I can see that His eyes
Are shadowed with my grief.

O, what my lesson cost Him!

He bears my pain
And returns grace
For my shameful
And even before
I see the power
That raises Lazarus
From his grave
I know my Lord will
Do it all again.

Someday soon.

He is my treasure,
Precious, fragrant, true,
Redolent of life and all things new.
The price for my faith
Falls upon my Lord.

He is Spikenard.

Writers Verse 2

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Inspired by Scripture and born in imagination. A sermon and a Liz Curtis Higgs Bible study set my mind to wondering about Mary. I hope we’ll meet and share out stories in Heaven!

How about you, friends? Which women from Scripture fascinate you? Do you find yourself writing the parts of their stories the Bible keeps private? If you had to find a gift which symbolizes your life, what would it be? Or which great treasures symbolizes Christ for you? 

The story of Jesus and Mary of Bethany and her brother Lazarus can be found here.
You’ll find part I of my poem, Mary of Bethany: My Treasure, here.

You may want to check out this Bible study on Mary of Bethany from Liz Curtis Higgs. I love her inspirational words!

This week I’m linking up with Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Mommy Moments, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, God-Sized Dreams, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wednesday Walkabout, Wisdom Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things,Thriving ThursdayLittle Things Thursday, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Photo Friday, Just for Fun Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Jenny’s Friday Flash Blog, Weekend Whatever, Still Saturday, True Vine Challenge, Sunday Snapshot, The Simple Things, Heart Reflected, Fresh-brewed Sundays, and The Sunday Community.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

23 responses to Mary of Bethany: He Cried (Easter reading, part II)

  1. I’m honored to be included in your Easter Reading, my sister. Bless you for the kind words!

  2. Hello Renee,

    What a stunningly beautiful post. I will be contemplating on these words for sometime. Thank you for the blessing.

  3. Dear Renee Ann
    Thank you for this glimpse I to the heart of Mary! Your poem has such a mystical quality of beauty that ordinary words will not be able to express.
    Much love

  4. What an absolutely beautiful post Renee. Thank you for sharing with us. God bless.

  5. This was just lovely. I loved the stories of Mary and Martha. We learn many lessons from them.
    Blessings to you!

  6. Renee, thank you for this beautiful picture of grief, doubt, tears, and miraculous redemption… So well done.
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

  7. You are an amazing writer! I couldn’t stop reading! Thank you for sharing this with us. Happy Easter!

  8. Wow… So I’m sitting here typing this with a tear about to drip off the tip of my upper lip. Wow. That was so beautiful by the grace of God. I have been going through some really hard (self-inflicted) struggles lately, and this was a small balm to my thrashing heart. THANK YOU.
    LCH is hysterically awesome. Never read her books, but watched BGOTB & VBGOTB conferences on VHS.
    I love to write, and actually wrote a story similar to this a few months ago during my devotions. Like your “writing the parts of their stories the Bible keeps private.” It simply came to me one morning. I would love to send it to you, if I may!
    Love in Christ Katie Hamilton.
    (this was typed yesterday and posted today b/c I have no home internet access)

    • Katie, thanks for sharing how this touched your heart. I saw Liz this fall at a ladies conference and both laughed and cried at what she shared. She’s the best!

      Please do send me your story. I’m at reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com. I look forward to reading and will be praying for you!

  9. Your words are always uplifting, Renee. Thanks for all the time you put into them.

  10. So beautiful!! Encouragement to the core.

  11. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it over at WholeHeartedHome.

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