Posted by: riverchilde | October 25, 2012

My Mary Magdalenes

This is a FB post I wrote in July, soon after the Aurora movie theater killings. But I’m in the midst of a blog that reminds me of this post, and I feel the need to share it on this blog that I started  using this fall. So if you’ve read it before, know that it is as true now as it was then. We all need Mary Magdalenes and defiant alleluias in our lives.

As I listened to this sermon ( responding to the massacre in Aurora, CO, (and I highly recommend you listen to it instead of reading it, particularly so you can add your hallelujahs to those of the singers at the end), I thought of all you Mary Magdalenes who have shown up for us in so many ways, by visiting, calling, feeding us, listening, praying, reading these posts, sending messages both electronically and by snail-mail, mowing our lawn, and through a host of other actions.

I particularly thought of Alex’s Mary Magdalenes who sat by the railroad tracks immediately after his death and sanctified that place of darkness with their presence, constructing these crosses from items they found there or bringing flowers and homemade crosses to lay at the foot of the rails, proclaiming in their own way that darkness and death do not have the final word, that a light shines in the darkness, and that the darkness will not and cannot overcome it, singing their own defiant Alleluias. At the time, I did not understand or appreciate as I do now the symbolism of your actions, but I want to thank you now for that gift, which means so much to us.

I thought of you all last weekend as well, as I listened to a sermon at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota, reminding us of the power of compassion, of suffering with those who suffer. So many of you have shared our suffering, have borne the burden of our grief, particularly here through this FB page. I keep wondering when you will all say, “Enough. I can’t bear any more. When will she stop dragging us through the muck of her raw emotions?” I also keep wondering if it’s fair of me to do this to you all. I keep thinking I should post positive, uplifting stuff here.And I believe that one day, I will be able to do that. I believe that our journey through the darkness of these days will bring us to the light, to memories and thoughts that bring joy. Even now I have begun each day thanking God for the 15 years we had with Alex, rather than dwelling on the years that we won’t have with him.And I thank God every day for you Mary Magdalenes who have not abandoned us or run away from our pain. The grieving psalmist cries out, “I am an object of dread to my acquaintances, those who see me in the streets flee from me,” but that has not been our experience. You have been the hands and lips and feet of God to us. Thank you for showing up.


  1. […] I’m grateful for the presence and care of my young friend on Wednesday nights. He is another Mary Magdalene for […]

  2. […] reminder of how to be Mary Magdalene’s to one […]

  3. […] of presence” to those who are grieving or suffering. I wrote a blog posting called My Mary Magdalenes; she wrote a book with these five ways to help a grieving […]

  4. […] But my loving faith family would have none of it. I was embraced, held in tears, by two Mary Magdalenes during the passing of the peace, and escorted to communion by a knight in shining armor. Best of […]

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