Grace fills cavernous, hollowed out places. We split our brittle hearts wide and grace falls in.
Can I ask you a question? You don’t have to answer, but let the answer turn round and round in your heart.
Have you ever spoken the Word out loud? I am not thinking of reading it before a group of people. Have you spoken the Word out loud, between you and The Lord, and maybe your dog or cat?
Most evenings I spend time at my desk, reflecting on my day, reading Scripture, and writing in my journal. I record moments that spoke to me, moments, I do not want to forget. Squinty-eyed, fatigue rolling over me, last evening I read John, chapter twenty, out loud. In my tiredness, I wanted, needed to be moved by God.
Did He ever deliver! I cried ugly tears.
“I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalms 18:6 (CSB)
I have read through John’s gospel many times, this time, I noticed something I have never noticed before.
“On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!’
At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen clothes lying there but he did not go in. Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there.
The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths BUT was FOLDED up in a separate place by itself. (verse 7b-emphasis mine)
The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed.”
John 20:1-8 (CSB)
Do you see what I see? The wrapping from his head was not with the other linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself.
Standing at the empty tomb, my gaze scanning the scene, I see the pile of linen cloths. Upon searching deeper, in another place lies the wrapping from his head, FOLDED! I see a Savior with a tender heart, quietly folding the cloth, taking time to place it just so, for me. For us. Grace upon grace unfolds in hollow places deep in my heart. I feel his tenderness wrap around me, his grace rain over me. I am awed.
I wonder if the disciples in their shock missed that one small detail? We don’t know, nothing is mentioned one way or the other. In my desperation to hear His voice, he brought this detail to life for me, personally. His word is alive and active!
According to Jewish culture, if one gets up from the table and FOLDS their napkin it signifies, “I will be back.” If it is crumpled it means they are done and will not return.
I find more than grace in the folded linen. He also gives us a promise. A promise, that He Is Not Finished. He is not finished with me or with you, He is coming back, Friends!
Oh, how he loves me. Woos me. Wows me. I pray that I will never stop being surprised by Him!
He loves you, Dearest Reader! Has He surprised you lately? I would love to hear from you!
Gifts of Grace
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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.
Be sure and bookmark this page for 31 Mornings in The Word during the month of October!