Mary of Bethany: He cried

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.

2 responses to Mary of Bethany: He cried

  1. Cheryl Rahkonen April 25, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I love your poem. While reading it, I began to wonder, to question where I am at in my Christian walk. I am so busy and have made time for this, that, and things that were not important at all. I have to ask myself, have I made time for Him? The answer worries me and I am promising my Lord and God that I will make time for them – I will put them before my paltry daily activities. I truly enjoyed your poem and the questions it invoked.

    • Cheryl, I think those things are good to ponder. God so often reminds me that I’m not spending time at His feet and just “being” with Him as I should be. And I’m the one who’s missing out when I neglect Him. Thanks for leaving a comment here–it lets me know I’m not alone in my struggle. I said a prayer for you today! May God continue to draw you to Himself. Blessings, friend!

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