Wednesday, April 12, 2023

What Happened Then

Random moments find me wondering what meeting the Lord Jesus Christ face to face would be like. To a believer, for Whom He shed His blood and died in Calvary, this is one great promise that sustains us: that most blessed reunion when we will, to quote a phrase my mother often mentions, "fall into the loving arms of Jesus." 

Meditating on Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection, I got to read Paul Mariani's poem, "What Happened Then." Here, through the vivid language of poetry, we experience Christ's appearing after the cross, and we relish His peace descending through that His physical presence in the room. Perhaps this is how our reunion with the Lord will be. After the toils of this world, the struggle with sin, the longing for holiness, an otherworldly calm will touch us. Our unbelieving eyes will dissolve in tears as we behold Him.

“What Happened Then”
by Paul Mariani

Do we understand what happened then?
The few of us in that shuttered room,
lamps dimmed, afraid of what would happen
when they found us? The women back
this morning to tell Peter what they’d seen.
Then these two back from Emmaus.
And now here he was. Here in the room with us.
Strange meeting this, the holes there
in his hands and feet and heart.
And who could have guessed a calm like this
could touch us. But that was what we felt.
The deep relief you feel when the one
you’ve searched for in a crowd appears,
and your unbelieving eyes dissolve in tears.

For this is what love looks like and is
and what it does. “Peace” was what he said,
as a peace like no other pierced the gloom
and descended on the room.

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