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April 15, 2022 • Life for Leaders

Scripture—Luke 23:55-56 (NASB)

Now the women who had come with him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Focus

Silence in the sabbath. An even deeper sabbath. A grave sabbath that lets you sink into the silence of the grief. The only thing worse than suffering is suffering in silence, which is why I find no small comfort in the women that went about the work of grief in the silent waiting. I wonder if they cried. I wonder if they hugged each other. I wonder if they told each other, “Eat, you need to eat. Drink water. I’ll go to the market and get spices while you stay here and sleep.” The women were with each other. In the silence. In the waiting. In the grief. In the questions. In your anxiety. In your doubts. In your fears. Find the with-ness of God in the witness of people around you.

 Devotion

My mother died in an airplane crash on a Saturday morning in the mountains surrounding the airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. However, the news of her death was not confirmed until her body was found and identified three days later. The longest three days of my entire life. Time stood still. My heartbeat was loud. My ears at time felt as if they were ringing. I had no appetite. The house filled with friends and family hushing whispers of shock and fractured hope. The women prepared a large pot of coffee. It was going to be a long day and an even longer night. Others brought chairs that filled the living room, then the porch, then overflowed onto the sidewalk. People came to keep vigil, day and night. The wait for news to arrive was more suffocating than the tropical, humid heat. My grandmother sat by the radio station as news of the crash trickled in what seemed an eternity.

My silent Saturday. Stricken by grief. I don’t remember speaking at all that day or the day after. Grief has a way of strangling your voice that way.

I remember their presence, though. Like the women that had followed Jesus out of Galilee, through his travels and all the way to the cross, people surrounded me to care for my eleven-year-old body. The traumatized women that had seen Jesus brutally killed prepared spices and perfumes to keep caring for his body. They grieved on that silent Saturday, they performed the burial rituals, and they rested according to the commandment.

Silence in the sabbath. An even deeper sabbath. A grave sabbath that lets you sink into the silence of the grief. The only thing worse than suffering is suffering in silence. Which is why I find no small comfort in the women that went about the work of grief in the silent waiting. I wonder if they cried. I wonder if they hugged each other. I wonder if they told each other, “Eat, you need to eat. Drink water. I’ll go to the market and get spices while you stay here and sleep.” The women were with each other. In the silence. In the waiting. In the grief. In the questions. In your anxiety. In your doubts. In your fears. Find the with-ness of God in the witness of people around you, even and especially when God seems silent.

Reflect

Is silence easy or uncomfortable for you? How is silence a teacher or a friend?

Act

Go on a hike with a friend or friends. Walk part of the way in silence reflecting on the silence after the crucifixion. Chat about the silence after the walk.

Pray

God who sits in our silences, we remember the silence of heaven after the crucifixion. We remember how God-forsaken the son of God felt. We are encouraged that that same Jesus understands our times of silence and grief. Jesus, sit with us in our silences. In our unspoken prayers of waiting and deferred hope. Show us those cloud of witnesses that bear witness to your with-ness. By your grace, sit with us, Jesus. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Resurrection Joy


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