“Then she ran…and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (John 20:2).

In this gospel from John, Mary Magdalene was visiting Jesus’ grave early one morning when she saw the stone covering His tomb had been rolled away. It was still dark, and the text doesn’t indicate that anyone else was with her, so she hurried to find Simon Peter and John to investigate this alleged crime scene. Mary used the proverbial “they” to assume that thieves had stolen Jesus’ body. She ran with her first thought to tell Simon Peter and John.

Simon Peter and John acted upon Mary’s recount and expected to find grave clothes and Jesus’ body gone when they arrived at the tomb. Instead, they found neatly gathered clothes and wraps that covered Jesus’ face. (I surmise that Jesus spoke Mary’s love language of service when He folded his laundry before leaving the tomb).

I relate to Mary Magdalene’s presumption because of my abundant experience with misconceptions. For example, I watch someone speeding and weaving between cars on the road and become agitated that their selfish moves endanger others. Pause. (Christina, look in your own rearview mirror). What did drivers assume about me while I raced down the highway to the vet emergency room when our dog had a whole tennis ball lodged in his mouth?

Another example of my first glance misunderstandings was when I saw a heap of bags and piles of clothing lying near a Goodwill donation center. Thinking some charitable but lazy person couldn’t brave the cold long enough to leave their car to walk their contribution to the bin, I resolved to clean up what proverbial “they” messed up. As I reached the container, I found a woman huddled under that heap of plastic bags. She had a pillowcase filled with clothing that wouldn’t protect her from the 20-degree temperatures. I identify with Mary Magdalene’s assumed conclusion before collecting more facts. I’ve seen (and spoke) my reaction before wisely sifting it through a filter of compassion.

Based on one rolled away stone, Mary Magdalene shared her misguided truth with others. Before factoring her grief, startled observation, and a dark morning when she was alone, she accused “them” of stealing. She exclaimed, “They have taken away the Lord.” I would love to hear how Mary, Simon Peter, and John compared stories when daybreak revealed the Truth.

Jesus, thank You for your light of Truth, especially when my thoughts and actions are dark. In this world of technology, filter my automatic assumptions through Your gate of grace. I’m grateful for Your empty tomb that reminds me that only You know my full story and faithfully love me.

Trading in my grave clothes for white robes to leap into the lily pad, Christina

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