This morning I read the account of Jesus raising Lazarus. Stephen Mitchell wrote a reflection on Lazarus resurrection recorded in John 11:38-44.
From Parables and Portraits
He had almost reached the end of the tunnel when he heard his friend’s voice calling him back. The voice was filled with love, but also with sorrow and pity, and not so much fear of death as resistance to it, as if it were an enemy to be expelled or overcome. He had realized so much, during the four days’ journey, that these resonances struck him as odd, coming as they did from a man of such insight; struck him as laughable, as almost childish. All the dramas of his short, intense life were an instant away from being resolved, dissolved, in the light at the end of the tunnel, which was not a physical light-after all, he no longer had physical eyes-but a radiant presence, a sense of completion a million times more blissful than what he had felt even in the company of his beloved friend. And the sweet seductive drama of master and disciple, how childish that had been too, as if a candle flame needed to warm itself before a fire. He thought of his sisters in the old house in Bethany, of Mary anointing their friend’s feet and wiping them with her hair: the tenderness, the absurdity of the gesture.
The voice was still calling. He didn’t have the heart to refuse. He knew that, for his friend’s sake, he would have to postpone his disappearance, to hurry back down the tunnel and return to his body, left behind so gratefully, which had already begun to stink.
Greater love has no man.