One part of the Resurrection story has always filled me with wonder.
In the quiet of that early morning, Mary stands weeping in the garden. Jesus appears in His resurrected body, but she does not notice Him at first.
“Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?” He asks.
She turns. Assuming he is the gardener, she addresses him. “Sir,” she says, “if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away.”
“Mary,” He says.
And instantly she knows. “Rabboni,” she gasps.
How did she know it was Him? Did she recognize His voice? Look into His eyes?
Maybe it was when He said her name.
After all, she had heard His Voice before, telling her that her sins were forgiven. She had listened to Him teach for weeks on end. No doubt she had memorized that voice.
And now, in the midst of her grief and emotional turmoil, He spoke her name.
One word. But she knew in that moment that it was Him.
Something about this moment in the story is so personal, so touching. The fact that Jesus stopped to talk to Mary for a few minutes on His way to ascend to the Father is enough to amaze me. But that He spoke her name, He knew her heart’s ache and responded to it, that makes me want to weep. He took a moment of His time and stopped to give her words of peace and victory.
If you know Jesus, then certainly you have heard His voice. In the midst of our busy lives, He speaks to us. But at times we need to hear Him say our name.
I have heard that the sweetest sound to our ears is someone saying our name. I am certain this was true for Mary that morning.
The God of the universe knows each of us by name. He knows who we are and where we are. He knows our unspoken needs, our fears and hopes and joys.
He speaks to us. He calls us by name.
And if He knows you by name, surely He cares about the struggles you may be facing today.
Remember that, dear friend.