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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)

TITLE: The Greatest Moment
By Sarah Elisabeth
02/17/10


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Why would the sun not rise?

The darkness closed in on Mary’s chest as she stared into the starless sky. Would the darkness come to her soul this time? Would it once again consume the very air she breathed?

Mary could no longer wait for the sun’s light. Gathering a few clay jars, she stepped from the house and started down the road. She was aware of the quiet footsteps that followed her. It was comforting to know she was not alone in her world of grief.

The sun still refused to show itself as Mary strained to make out the form of the tomb. The pound of her own heart overlaid the soft exclamations of the other women as Mary touched the cold rock. Her eyes moved from the stone, taller than she, to the black opening.

The first ray of the sun penetrated the dark interior. Mary heard only her own gasp as the light revealed the vacant room.

Tears pooling in her eyes, Mary felt the spice jars slip from her fingers and crash on the rocks. She jerked away and fled. There was only one place she could go, one thing she could do.

“Peter! John! You must come quickly. They have taken away the Lord from the tomb. We do not know where they have taken Him!” Mary could scarcely catch her breath as she watched the two disciples run down the road, their sandaled feet sending pebbles flying.

Hand pressed to her heart, Mary followed, exchanging pained glances with the sobbing women who were returning to the house.

Stumbling on the loose rocks, Mary pitched forward and crashed onto her knees. Groaning, she lifted her face to the rising sun.

“Why?” cried Mary, her hands reaching up to cover her burning heart. “Was my grief not enough? Must I be separated from my Lord forever?”

The sound of footsteps brought Mary’s focus back to the road in front of her. Simon Peter met her eyes as Mary rose to her feet, the unspoken question hanging between them. Peter gave her a troubled shake of his head. Shoulders hunched, he continued back to the house.

Mary’s feet refused to move. How could she go back without knowing? Yet where could she go for answers?

“Mary.”

Something in John’s eyes, in his voice, caused Mary’s pulse to quicken. Studying his countenance, Mary knew he had seen something. Did he know where they had taken the Lord?

John said nothing else but continued on the path behind Simon Peter.

The grief crushingly fresh, Mary turned her sandaled feet toward the tomb again. She would not – she could not – leave until she knew where her precious Lord was.

In spite of the sun warming her back, a chill coursed through Mary’s body as her bare hand rested flat against the stone that had sealed the tomb. Another sob rocked her body as she dipped her head to gaze inside.

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Brushing the tears aside, Mary stared at the man whose floating voice had spoken the question. He sat at the head where her Lord had lain.

Choking on the lump in her throat, Mary struggled with her answer. How could she explain to this stranger how her Lord had rescued her from the dark pit of demon possession and brought her into the light of His love? How could she convey the depth of her love and gratitude she felt toward her Master and Teacher? How could her grief be summed in mere words?

“They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” What more could she say? Mary could hardly breathe for the sobs that overcame her.

Unable to bear the emptiness of the tomb, Mary turned to let the sun touch her face. But the Gardener who stood in her path blocked the soothing rays from her.

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Had she not just answered this question? How long would she be tormented?

“Please, Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him and I will take Him away.”

Heart weighted beyond endurance, Mary longed for the relieving warmth of the risen sun.

“Mary!”

The voice was unmistakable. Mary felt her head lighten as her heart exploded with joy. Her tears dried. Her vision cleared as she gazed upon the face outlined by the beams of sunlight. Eternal light flooded her soul. There was only one word she could breath.

“Rabboni!”





Based on the account of the Resurrection in John 20:1-16 NKJV


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This article has been read 545 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/21/10
Beautiful rendering of this story... you've brought it to life! The grief was in stark contrast to the joy at the end. Nice work!
Gregory Kane02/21/10
Nicely done. I liked the subtle way you contrasted John's reaction with Peter's
Jackie Wilson02/22/10
Lovely work on melding the stories from the gospels with believable, logical details. Great writing!
Barbara Lynn Culler02/22/10
I knew from the start when you mentioned darkness and Mary what this story was about.
Great job bringing it to life!
Virgil Youngblood 02/22/10
You have captured the moment well. Good writing.
Author Unknown02/23/10
a nice retelling of the story-- I also picked up straight away which story it would be- but I think that's a good thing (gives the reader a piqued interest because they think they know how it'll be told). I think you conveyed Mary's grief without being overly dramatic and were able to get the reactions of those around her right (in my opinion). now, red ink pen, the only quibble I pick is capitalizing Gardener, because at that moment, she didn't know who it was- but I know others might feel differently on that-- it's more of a POV thing. not bad for first time dabbling. :)
Lollie Hofer 02/23/10
You made Mary and grief very real, I could feel what she was feeling in that moment. The contrast between Peter and John was poignant as well. Well done. Don't hesitate to "dabble" in this genre again. Well done.
Rachel Phelps02/23/10
Wonderful, Sarah! You captured the intense emotions of the situation perfectly and did a great job bringing in little details to create setting. Great job with a new genre.
Carol Penhorwood 02/24/10
You captured the intense emotions of this wonderful time! Great job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/24/10
You did a beautiful job. I could vividly picture everything and the grief was overwhelming.
Kate Oliver Webb02/24/10
Such an evocative piece of writing; you've caught the atmosphere, the emotion, all of it. I could almost smell the dark, early morning air, beginning to sweeten as The Son was revealed. Great writing, as usual!