A walk to Emmaus
“I don’t feel like Easter has come yet” one woman said this week. She lives with chronic pain at a level 10 most days and in the pain, there is no joy of resurrection. I came back to the office to hear that a man has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I feel his family’s pain with this new trauma in their lives. A flurry of decisions flood their lives without any background of experience upon which to draw. A young woman finally in sobriety needs pain medication for oral surgery, ‘but will it activate the addict?’ her mother asks. There was such hope that she was on the road to recovery. And housing contracts fall through, decisions need to be made and chaos abounds in so many lives. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this” I am told.
Like the disciples of Jesus after his crucifixion, people today are talking about all that is going on in their lives with a ‘downcast look’. When life altering chaos enters our lives, the hopes and expectations of life are dashed in a moment. The life we knew no longer exists and in its place confusion reigns.
I am intrigued by the story of the walk to Emmaus because it mirrors the lives of so many people today. The disciples kept walking. No one rescued them from the trauma or the drama they had experienced. Nor did anyone take away the disillusionment life events evoked in them. And yet, a man joined them asking what had happened. He walked with them and spoke with them and listened to them share. The miracle of the walk to Emmaus was just that: In the pain and suffering of the disciples, they were joined by someone who cared. They were joined by someone willing to walk with them.
This is also our story. “I am here if you just want to talk’ one woman offered to another. “I have a candle burning to hold you in the Light” another responded. “I am so sorry for all you are going through again” came forth spontaneously from another.
These are the stories of our lives. The miracle of Easter is that we reach out to be present to others in pain. The miracle is the willingness to walk with others as they respond to what life asks of them. The miracle of Easter is that in nurturing others and being nurtured through others, we recognize New Life truly happens in gentle and most often subtle touches.
In your life journey, may you experience the tender mercy that walks with you until you can recognize resurrection for yourself.