A couple months ago I stumbled out of bed into our living room one morning to Kyle who made a comment on the shirt I was wearing. He said smiling, “ahh, that must be from the old days.” I’d thrown it on in the dark the night before with no knowledge of what I’d picked. I looked down and realized I was wearing a shirt that said “Well behaved women seldom make history.” I smiled too, recalling the stage of life in which this was my mantra. At the time it was a justification for the place my poor decision making met my feminist tendencies. A few weeks later, I was reading through and studying the gospel of Luke and came across his account of Jesus’ resurrection in chapters 23 and 24. I was blown away. I’d never realized that right there in the bible, in what some would say is the most definitive event in the Christian faith, God revealed his heart for women. And… as usual, it was in pulling back the layers of this story that I discovered a greater message, still.
At the end of Luke’s 23rd chapter, Joseph, a member of the Jewish high council, unsettled by the events of the crucifixion asks for our savior’s human form, he asks and takes his body. Careless to what this may have looked like, he wrapped it in linen cloth and took it to the tomb to lay him to rest.
Here’s where the women come in. The bible says that the Galilean woman followed Joseph and the body of Jesus to the tomb. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of Jesus. These women, at a point of utter hopelessness for everyone who had followed the life and teachings of this man, a time that found most of Jesus’ own disciples scattered and confused- these women, who as a result of their sex weren’t permitted to be even heard in a High Council or court, who were unworthy historians simply for being female, they followed Jesus… still. They followed Joseph to the tomb to see where the body of their Lord would be placed. I’m sure they wept with raw awareness of what had transpired, maybe their tears had run dry- but even if they had cried out, who would hear them or care? They were still just women. They followed because they recognized all they could do at this time was to know the location of their Lord’s body so that they could return to it in order to ceremonially anoint it in reverence and respect.
They. Did. What. They. Could… to serve their King.
They didn’t collapse in defeat or buy into their inability to make a difference because they were merely women, voiceless and without platform; instead they carried their profound sadness with them as they continued on to contribute in the only way they knew they could. They worked out of the calling and role they were extended as women in that time with no consideration of whether or not it was impactful enough, fair, righteous, or if the work itself fulfilled them. They didn’t look sideways for the disciples who weren’t there. They didn’t consider any one else’s call to serve at that time; they knew their calling and they set out to do it wholeheartedly.
As a result of working without desire for approval or impact, with no ambitious motivations or ill-intentions influencing, they served out of love for their Lord. Because of this, they were the first to find his body missing. They were who God deemed worthy of revealing his angels to in order to announce that HE IS RISEN. That death, the cowardly empty threat of our enemy was no match for him, and that by extension its no match for those of us who follow him today.
Their contribution however small it may have seemed was SEEN, valued, and favored. The women, still clinging tightly to their spices and shock, were who joyfully brought the first news of Christ’s resurrection to the disbelieving disciples.
When was the last time, in the face of frustration, or outright crushing oppression- that you gathered up what you could and continued in your calling, however small it may have seemed? Or have you been too busy looking laterally, consumed by a desire to live in someone else’s calling all the while falling prey to the belief that your immobility is of higher value than what you’re able to do right now.
What if it’s in gathering spices, folding laundry, walking broken hearted to a tomb, or just continuing to show up when no one seems to notice, that our very alive and risen Christ is there, waiting for you?
That maybe it’s your downcast eyes, the defeat that says your days aren’t impactful enough, and the constant comparison to others that are causing you to overlook the presence of the KING standing before you.
This belief may not line up with my previous subscription to causing as much feminine noise as I could in order to distract people from the broken pieces of myself falling off behind me like a bread trail but it has been in the seemingly insignificant, the repetitive, and the mundane that I have seen and felt Christ’s resurrection most in my life.
I consider myself fortunate that I don’t experience the sting of comparison. I no longer measure myself to others in order to see if what I’m doing is powerful enough or if the impact I’m making is as large as someone else’s and I think that’s because comparison falls stale and we’re only granted an audience when we realize that there’s only ONE who is worthy of our comparison and only ONE in the audience whose opinion matters. I feel like my audience of one finds me more often in the silence of the laundry room when His steadying hand guides me to grace for my lack of patience with my son, or in dish soap revelations about his Word and life which leave me compelled to hit my laptop and share them with you. It’s in these priceless, incomparable moments of putting one foot in front of the other and doing what I’m called to for myself, my home, husband, and family, that I build legs sturdy enough to stand in front of others at all.
It’s here that we see our King, resurrected, alive, and so in love with us that he’s sitting patiently in the quiet, waiting for us to seek Him so he can tell us how much more he has in store. And spoiler alert… it’s so, so good.