One of my favorite moments in the resurrection story is when Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. This beloved woman had just endured the worst three days of her life in witnessing the unjust and inhumane persecution of our Lord. The helplessness of watching someone you love and adore be wrongly accused, brutally beaten, and mercilessly crucified is beyond. Then, as if this wasn’t enough to wreck a person from the inside out, she finds Jesus’ body missing from the tomb. The emptiness in that cave a heart wrenching visual of the inconceivable void in her soul.
While succumbing to her sorrow, a man Mary believes is a gardener says, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” Mary implores the man to tell her where Jesus is if he has taken him away so she can go get him.
This is when the drumroll of the story starts for me. When my heart races and all the feels swell beneath my skin as Jesus responds with one word, “Mary.” She turns to him in total recognition and cries out, “Rabonni!”
Oh, the heart bend of this moment. To be called by name and immediately feel the wash of utter knowing. Both to know and be known—the great yearning of humanity.
Two simple words, Mary hearing her name and responding in kind, created an intimate and profound interaction of cosmic proportions. The raw beauty of their loving exchange takes my breath away every time.
Isn’t this the kind of relationship and seamless communication we long for with Jesus? To be so in tune with his presence that the mere whisper of our name causes us to instantly cast aside our fear and concern and embrace his existence? I’m certain Jesus longs for the same. This is where I offer up the connection between Mary Magdalene and our role as mom.
Just like Mary, we are no stranger to pain and sorrow. We, too, endure days, weeks, and even seasons of fear and confusion in raising our kiddos. The primal ache of watching our children and those we love suffer in any capacity is not lost on us. Jesus sees all of this and is aware of the heavy in our hearts. In these moments, I believe he also asks us why we are weeping.
Mommas, what if beneath the hum of our tear-soaked pleadings, we need only listen for the whisper of our name? What if, like Mary, merely hearing our name is all we need to feel the wash of utter knowing? Imagine the sweet relief of feeling seen, heard, loved, and adored in our most trying moments as moms simply because of a one-word whisper.
The truth is, Jesus is always calling us by name.
And the underlying message is this:
“I am right here. I feel your pain. I see your suffering. I hear your prayers even when they don’t leave your lips.
In all your exhaustion, I am sending you the strength to press on. In all your trials and struggles, I am sending you the resolve to overcome. In all your confusion and guilt, I am whispering tender guidance and an abundance of grace. In all your fears, I am sitting beside you, offering solace and protection. In all your anger, I am breathing soothing air into your lungs. In all your sadness, I am wiping the tears from your eyes. In all your overwhelm, I am brewing up healing laughter.
When I say your name, I want you to know you are loved. You are adored. You are worthy. Just let me love you. That’s what I came here to do.”
Is there a greater love than this? A more profound means of feeling seen and understood?
What reassurance Jesus offers us day in and day out if we bend our ears and listen. Jesus’ comfort and adoring is only an attuned ear and a whisper away at all times.
May we have the ears to hear and the heart to know as Mary did.
Have a blessed Easter.
This piece originally appeared at ShelbySpear.com, published with permission.