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Conversations - Mary Magdalene

Continuing the series of reflections in which Baptist minister John Rackley seeks to describe a possible response of some of the people who were intimately involved in the 24 hours before the death of Jesus.  

Simon of Cyrene
The Nameless Lover

Mary Magdalene: Mark 15:40-41


Mary Magdalene350
Crucifix by Dionigi Bussola / Wikimedia Commons

It was the thud of nail through flesh
that convinced me there was no coming back for him.
It was the horror in his cries of pain
that convinced me that God would not descend to his holy mountain that day.
What Jesus had done for me would not be given to him.
He had taken on the seven devils of hell in me –
But there was to be no release for him.
It was ending before our very eyes,
that lovely, gentle, compassionate, thrilling life.
So full of energy; so opposed to the dullness of dutiful faith.
It was all coming to a close in shrieks of wild pain,
A crowd’s moody noise and the mockery of those
his meekness had not defeated.
Why didn’t he do what they asked?
Why didn’t he pull out the nails,
leap from the cross,
fling away the thorn crown and walk among us?
Why refuse the one miracle that would have changed everything?
What was the point of going to hell when there was so much do here –
For them, for us – for me?
This was an unnecessary death.
From a distance – there was nothing we could do.
From a distance - there was nothing but dashed hopes
and shattered dreams.
But we stayed.
We would see it to its bitter end
and then wait to receive his body.
What could he do in eternal darkness?
Would there be anything of that lovely gentle energy left
for those who abide in deep darkness?
Well that’s the last piece of trust I can offer him.
A scrap of faith
A crust of belief.
Goodbye, dear friend – I do not understand.

Lord Jesus Christ – healer of the distraught -  pour out your compassion on all 
who long for light in their darkness
who have only a faith of questions
who watch the death of those they cannot bear to see depart
who face the brutality of unnecessary death
who can only say to God – I do not understand 
Forgive the people who bear your name when they turn their faces away from the world’s cruelty
and transform us all by your compassion


John Rackley is a Baptist minister who blogs at windingquest.wordpress.com
Further conversations can be found on his blog


Baptist Times, 31/03/2015
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