By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 39, Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days.
If there was ever any doubt that Lazarus was truly dead, perhaps he was asleep, his smell would satisfy the strongest of skeptics. Smell is an unmistakable sign of death. How much more incredible is resurrection when we know that it came from death? Have you ever witnessed a someone who was in a really bad place, experiencing their own death, a separation from love? Someone who was really struggling with their circumstances—grieving the loss of a loved one, divorce or a break-up, depression, job loss, or transitions. Can you name what it was that helped you to see that person’s struggle? What are the tell-tale signs of your own suffering, your own death? Perhaps you, or they, become more controlling, fearful, judgmental, needy, negative, or self-centered. Perhaps you compromise your value system or drink more. Perhaps you isolate yourself. Perhaps you can’t be alone. Perhaps everyone around you seems more negative (read: projection). Perhaps your mind is racing, you can’t sleep, or you have trouble seeing your own value. Those feelings do not last forever, but we do have to be gentle with ourselves and those who suffer when we see it. In moments of despair, God cries with us and moves us back toward abundant life. Resurrection is possible!
Prayer Jesus, you cry when we are separated from your love. Draw us back to life.