I sat cross-legged in the vinyl seats of the doctor's office exam room, checking off all my patient history boxes and noting why I was there, one line I stumbled upon had me paused-with the pen hovering above the line. As I stared at it momentarily, I thought to myself, "well, what do I put down? I really don't know." I had truly no idea how to label that area asking, occupation. I could label it many things, and in that instance I had nothing, so I left it blank. I felt I didn't know what I do, what station my job train had stopped at that day, or honestly what is it that I do-ever? Sure, I can roll it into a nutshell of a myriad of things, a list of beautifully, blessed moments I get to do, be a part of, and that occupy the majority of time and heart, but is who I am, my occupation, or what I do? In that moment though, I was feeling hollow, alone and not wanting to roll all these things into a nutshell of what I do/who I am, in an occupation on a office form, and I did feel blank. It wasn't until this Easter morning as I read, John 20:10-18 that this moment bleeped back across my mind and heart. As I read about Mary Magdalene weeping outside the empty, hollowed, cold tomb alone, and two angels presented themselves to her asking why she was crying? Her response was she wept for her Lord who was gone, but then the gardener (aka Jesus) came up behind her in that exact second following, asking the same question. Her response was, sir if you've taken him somewhere please tell me where. Mary didn't recognize it was Jesus who was standing before her. He'd been by her side even when she didn't know it, when she was weeping, wholly sorrow-filled, hollowed out and empty tears of loss for her Lord. Her line was blank. What did she do? Sure the list of things she could do were unlimited at this moment, as were the other half of that question of who she was, was there, but what 'did she do'? Now that he was not there to see-with her own eyes, even if it was his body, she, like the tomb, was empty...her line of what did she do, was blank. But wait a minute...the gardener aka (Jesus), "Mary." And she knew it was him, she cried out, "teacher, teacher!" Can you imagine her flood of emotion?! Talk about flipping a switch-whew! She went from blank, empty, hollow, alone in her question of what does she do since he was gone (at least thought to be until now, to some), to filled up in the Holy Spirit! Relief, joy, love, wholeness and her what is she to do, her what does she do, and her flood of who she was overflowed with the instantaneous breath of his life and voice filling her, because what she is, what she does, and her who am I is one thing...Mary Magdalene was a child of God. Her identity and occupation is the love Christ in her. She had never been alone. He was with her, it was she who did not recognize him, not He not knowing her. She never needed to feel empty and weep, because, having faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1. His confirmation of him beside her is one of the most amazing and significant points of the resurrection, and after this moment Jesus gave her specific instructions. What did she do? Who was she in this holy historic moment? Was this now her biblical occupation or was this who she was with and in Christ. She ran to the disciples, saying, "I have seen the Lord!" (Exclamation point!-BAM! YES!) She didn't trudge along saying, "um...hey...he's up and seems to be out of the tomb", she RAN and called to everyone of them who could hear her exclaim the news that she, HAD SEEN THE LORD. The grammar is important. 'The' means 'the' one and only not 'a' which could be 'a couple', 'a multitude', 'had seen' is definitive, and 'Lord' wasn't a guy in a gardeners cloak, it is 'the Lord' of all...like all...everything all...as Buzz Lightyear says, infinity and beyond-ALL. What she did here, was important. Who she was in this moment, was seriously important no matter her occupation before this moment, what she did and what she does, what she was, was a witness of the prophecies truth, not wishful thinking...'the' truth. In the bible the exclamation point also shows the importance of what she did and who she was... the child of God sharing the good news of Jesus being alive, with exclamation, not a question, not a period just ending the sentence, and not a comma with a coordinating conjunction to finish off the sentence with something else coming with a 'but, or, for, and nor'! So it made me think, when I feel like my occupation line is blank, or there are too many things to jot down on the half-inch line, or the what do I do, or the who am I is in question, or the emptiness is real...all that truly matters is what I know, truly, wholehearted know and set my heart steadfast upon when these times in question come rolling through my occupation station. These words are what fill this line in bold and with the exclamation point...occupation: Child of God! Child of the one true God, I am, this, this is what I am, who I am, what I do, be and am called upon when truly asked. What is my occupation? Well, that line reads: I Am a child God. I sure love to write-I am an author. I am a columnist. I am a freelance writer, (because I am a child of God in all I do, first). I sure love to teach and work with kids-I am a teacher (because I am a child of God in all I do, first). I sure am blessed in so many ways to get to do so many amazing things in many moments, I am a business manager, an artist, a cook, a reader, because...I am a child of God, first. The gardener is by my side, filling me with his holy water of relief, joy and peace of his presence, the seeds he is planting in my heart and on my spirit are of him, and blossoms are exclaiming, in great glory, the meaning of this blessed Easter resurrection day is 'the truth' of Him. This is the day that your occupation line doesn't have to be blank or bleak, it can be filled in capital letters because of what the gardener said to Mary, he called her name and she knew who she was immediately, a child of the 'LIVING' God. Happy Easter!
Easter Sunday on San Luis mountain in California. I took this around 2001.