For me, the most powerful image of Easter is an intimate garden scene. The crosses that towered on Golgotha under threatening skies two days before stand empty now, though the memory of blood and agony casts a shadow over flowers opening in the early morning sun. Mary stands outside the empty tomb, weeping, puzzled at the words of the angels, who proclaim, "He is risen." Her hands, carrying spices to anoint the body of her master, fall useless to her side. She does not understand, can only wonder while she lets the tears flow.
Turning, she sees a man standing before her. Perhaps tears cloud her vision. In her distraction, she sees only a gardener. "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."
Just one word turns anguish to joy, despair to hope. For Mary, for the world, light has pierced the darkness. No angel choirs herald the event. No cheering crowds shout hosannas. One woman kneels at the Savior's feet in awe and joy and whispers, "Rabboni."
I have not touched the scars on those feet, and I can scarcely imagine the tenderness of the exchange on that resurrection morning. And yet, I have sometimes felt the Savior call my name, His voice gently wiping away the tears and doubt. I have had no visions on the road to Damascus, just a multitude of answered prayers, of unexpected rainbows and slightly dusty angels bringing "I love you" notes from the master gardener.