In the days following your resurrection you appeared to many different people:
You appeared to Mary Magdalen, The woman of many sins: a forgiven sinner.
You appeared to Peter, The very man who, under pressure, denied he knew you.
You appeared to the travelers on the road to Emmaus,
Discouraged, sad of heart, defeated of spirit.
You appeared to the disciples in the upper room,
Hiding, frightened because they thought you, their leader was dead.
And even Thomas.
You appeared to him. He who needed proof to believe,
Who wanted to believe, yet was hesitant.
One of my novels is a novel inside of a novel. The main character was reading a novel. Both were important to the story line. I tried writing both at the same time, and realized it was impossible, so I wrote the two novels separately, using two different styles and two different voices. When I spoke of the first novel I spoke as me, and when I talked about the novel inside the first novel, I spoke as the character of the first novel to whom I attributed that novel. My husband would tell me I sounded multi-personality-like. Even now I sound like two different people.
Indeed, I sometimes think, half-seriously, that there are two people in me. One is the person who loves people and enjoys being with people. The other is the hermit – the melancholy creative person who wants nothing but to be left alone. While not a clinical multiple personality problem, I suspect all of us have distinct sides to our personality.
In fact, as I look at the list of people you appeared to after your resurrection I realized I have resembled many of them at one time or another.
I am a forgiven sinner. Yet a times in my life I struggle with temptation.
I know who I belong to, but at times, by my actions, I betray or even deny my faith under pressure.
I’m often ashamed about how easily I am discouraged, how often I am sad, defeated in spirit. In all the confirmation you send my way in life, one rejection one negative comment sends me down the path of discouragement.
Then there are times I withdraw from the community, frightened I am not equal to the task before me. Doubting I am the person for the job. And I need proof you are with me.
As with all the people you appeared to after your resurrection you come to me in spirit. You forgive, reassure, send people into my life to keep me on track, and by your presence let me know you will always provide the strength needed to live victoriously.
As a post-resurrection person, I learn you are constant in your relationship with me, no matter which of these people I resemble today.
And so I pray:
God, Help me embrace my faith in the power of your resurrection so I become fearful, worried, unsure of myself in my walk with you. Thank you for your constant presence and encouragement. Help me continue growing beyond the pulls of all the influences around me.