April 19, 2023
“The women were terribly frightened and turned their eyes away and looked at the ground.”
Of course, they were frightened! Who wouldn’t be? The body was gone. The tomb was empty. And now they experience a sudden appearance of two men filling the dark tomb and dull morning with brilliant light from their dazzling.
Terribly frightened is how it is described. When fear such as this strikes, the first natural human response is flight. But these women, even in their extreme fear, did not flee. They stayed. Huh.
The text tells us they “turned their eyes away and looked to the ground.” This is an interesting response. Perhaps they were looking away from the dazzling brightness of the men to protect their eyes. Perhaps looking to the ground helped them find some sense of calm amid terror. Perhaps looking away and looking down kept them anchored.
They held their ground. They did not leave. Remarkable.
Holy courage. Faith in the midst of fear.
These women are teaching us something about how to be in times of being “terribly frightened.”
When fear overwhelms, look away and then look down. Stay put.
Hold your ground.
Look away. Look down. Wait. Listen.
Prayer: Gracious One, in times of terrible fear and sudden alarm, save me from panic. Give me courageous faith to stay, to center, to wait, to listen, that your calming voice may be heard. Amen. Alleluia.
Photo: Bible History Online