The Happy Place

front of tombNo-one knows for sure if the cave I stand in front of is the real tomb where Jesus lay. But I like to think so.

Of course it helped that the sun was shining that day; that birds were singing high in the treetops; that blossom was blowing in the wind; that voices were raised in song, echoing around The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem and filling it with peace.

We wait patiently in line for our turn to step inside.  I see the small doorway cut out of the rock; I see a huge circular stone standing nearby, like the one that would have been used to seal the entrance;


I see people stepping out of the tomb. They are smiling.

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And then it’s our turn.

We step inside. It is quiet. And empty. And for a moment, we don’t say a word.

But when we do, it’s my sister that says,

This is a happy place.

And I laugh at her perfect pronouncement. She is so right! And I don’t feel like I have to whisper in here, as I have done at most of the holy sites. And I don’t feel like I have to tiptoe in here, like I did as a child in the graveyard, afraid to step on the tombs of the dead.

This is a happy place! This is not where we find the dead, but the living!


And we step out through the open door, just as Jesus did, two thousand years ago, where sunshine waits to greet us, and promise whispers in the air.

pauline stepping out of tomb

me stepping out of tomb

We step from darkness into light, and celebrate with every spring flower who has pushed her way out from darkest earth to find the place where she can bloom.


He is not here he is risen

happy ending

mary & jesus

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