“The Sundays after Easter are …precious because, in their comparatively subdued, low-key way, they seem …closer to the reality of the resurrection as you and I are apt to experience it. These everyday Sundays without all the flowers and music and exaltation are like the kind of day that Luke describes in his account of the two disciples on their walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus some seven miles away. They had heard the women’s report about finding the tomb of Jesus empty that morning, but as Luke writes, it ‘seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.’ They did not believe the women because they found what the women said unbelievable, and then as they trudged along with the evening approaching …Jesus himself risen from the dead and alive again – joined them on their way, only they did not know it was Jesus because, again as Luke puts it, ‘their eyes were kept from recognizing him,’ and I think those eyes are almost the most haunting part of the whole haunting story because they remind me so much of my own eyes and because I suspect they may remind you also of yours. How extraordinary to have eyes like that – eyes that look out at this world we live in but, more often than not, see everything except what matters most. …What kept them from recognizing him, of course, was that they thought he was dead and gone, and when he asked them what they had been talking about, that is what they told him in words as full of pathos as any in the New Testament. ‘We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel,’ they said, but by then their hope was as dead as they believed he was himself. They had gone to the tomb to see if he was alive as some believed but had found no trace of him. …they were so lost in their sad and tangled thoughts that they did not recognize him any more than you and I would probably recognize him as we walk through the world because, like theirs, our eyes are too accustomed to darkness and our faith not strong enough to believe in the reality of light even if it were to blaze up before us.” Frederick Buechner
“We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you dismissive towards women when it comes to spirituality?
- Are you eyes too “accustomed to darkness” to notice the light?
- Is your faith sufficient for those times when you are “lost in sad and tangled thoughts?”
Abba, give me eyes to see.
For More: Secrets in the Dark by Frederick Buechner