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Who Will Roll the Stone Away…?


“Who will roll the stone away?” Those are the very practical words of Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome, as they made their way to the tomb early in the morning the day after Jesus was crucified and buried. The Gospel of Mark gives no detail about their other conversations. Did they talk about the promises Jesus made? Were they angry about how the crowd turned against Him? Or did they simply walk in silence, overcome with sorrow and disbelief?

Who Will Move the Stone?

The only thing we know is that before they could anoint his body, touch his wounds, or tidy his garments, they were worried about moving the stone that blocked the way.  Before they could begin to process the grace, peace, and hope offered in an empty tomb, they were worried about moving the stone that blocked the way.

Easter is a joyful time at Crossnore. We do arts and crafts, dye eggs, and have an Easter egg hunt. The kids are happy and excited as both residential campuses go on a spring break trip. But, in the midst of all the joy, excitement, eggs and trips, I can’t help but wonder, just like those 3 women early on that resurrection morning, “Who will roll the stone away?”

The Many Stones Stacked Against Them

The children we serve at Crossnore have had many stones placed in their lives. Stones that trip them up in school and stones that hold them down. Heavy stones put in place by others that keep them from their full potential. Stone-shaped blocks of trauma stacked one on top of the other. When they first arrive at Crossnore, they may not see it or feel it. But someone has rolled the first stone away and healing begins. It is heavy work. It is often painful and sad.

Most days I do not have the words to describe the amazing people I see moving these stones. But it happens.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, did not need to worry about moving the stone away from the tomb. When they arrived, it had been moved for them. They did not need to ask nor could they imagine how or why. But it was gone. At the tomb, they did not find what they were looking for. There was no body to anoint or wounds to touch. What they found was amazing grace, peace and hope beyond their understanding.

My prayer this Easter is for the children we serve to feel that same grace, peace, and hope.  I am hopeful that someday, just like those 3 ladies, they will no longer be sad, afraid, or confused. That they will realize they no longer have to worry about the stones. That they’ve been moved away.