When I drove up to the park yesterday morning, I expected to find it open as normal. I expected to be able to walk the nature loop like I often do for praying in the morning and also talking out my sermon. I did not expect to see the gate closed and no one there to ask about opening it.
This morning, I read about Mary Magdalene coming to Jesus’ tomb in John 20 expecting somewhat the opposite. She was expecting to see the stone still rolled in front of the tomb entry.
So I headed over to a different place to walk and pray and I am so grateful I did. I encountered beauty and wonder that I did not expect. I saw the sun shining through the trees and early morning haze creating stunning light beams. A perfectly made spider web coated with the tiniest beads of dew glistened in the early sun. And I was not expecting a picture that came out in a way that I don’t think I could recreate even if I tried. It all was stunning. And completely not what I expected to encounter yesterday morning.
Mary came to the tomb expecting to find a stone needing to be moved. She expected to find a body dead since the Friday before. She expected her grief to continue to be overpowering and all-encompassing. She did not expect the wonder, awe, and miracle that she encountered as the stone was rolled away, an angel spoke to her, and then Jesus called her by name.
Painter Bob Ross would say that there are no mistakes, just happy accidents. Yesterday felt like a big, beautiful, amazing happy accident that then connected me to Mary’s story this morning – reminding me that God is always about doing the unexpected and the amazing if we are only open, waiting, listening, and looking.