Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. – Mark 16:8 (NIV)
Maybe you’ve been in that space, in that feeling, when you hear news so stunning it leaves you shook. It might be good news or bad news; whatever it is, you can’t find words for it. You have to hope that those around you will know how you feel: that you love them no matter what, or that you want them to celebrate with you, or that you will be on Team Whatever Needs To Be Done.
In the pandemic, that kind of news has come to us from a distance. Rather than across a table, the person giving it is on a video or phone screen, and so we can’t put a hand on theirs, or an arm around them, or wrap them in a hug. We can’t help them or ourselves with the acts of presence we would ordinarily expect at the news of a birth or a death, a wedding or a divorce, a great new job or the loss of the work we loved.
Mark’s Gospel leaves the ending open, puts us in that space, in that feeling, where what’s happened has moved us to a silence accompanied only by our trembling. I’m glad these brave women who left home to follow Jesus had each other in that moment when the shock of grief became fear of the unknown. These three sisters in the struggle ran until they stopped, and one put her arms around the others and found the words: “I know we’re shook, but maybe, maybe, this news is good.”
Gracious God, we ask for the strength to carry your good news even, especially, when we tremble. Amen.