By Debbonnaire Kovacs, April 15, 2015

We hang out in the back corner of the room, we women. The men are quickly reverting to the way they were before Jesus ever came—ignoring us. Even when I told them what I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears at the empty tomb, they didn’t believe me.

Jesus always listened to us. We mattered to him.

We whisper together, comparing notes, while the men argue in the center of the room. Some think we should all leave Jerusalem and go back to our homes. Others insist it’s too dangerous.

All of us are scared. I know what I saw this morning, but…even I have to admit it doesn’t seem true! Maybe they’re right—I’m hysterical, I’m imagining it. Certainly I have been hysterical this weekend. I’ve seen a lot of violence in my life, but that was the worst. And then, when it was finally over…

…seeing his mother cradling his broken body…

My eyes fill with tears, still, just thinking about it.

“Tell me again,” Mary whispers to me, “What did he say?”

But the second I open my mouth to tell it again (for her or to convince myself?) there’s a sudden collective gasp in the room

He’s here!! I hold my breath in shock. Actually, I don’t think anyone is breathing.

He smiles, his same old, familiar, dear smile and just says, “Shalom!” As if it were any ordinary day and he’d just arrived for lunch…except…the door was locked…

“It’s a ghost!” whispers one of the men, and I can’t hold back a small laugh. Maybe from now on they’ll believe me.

“Why are you afraid?” Jesus asks gently. He holds out his hands, reaches out one foot, and we all see the jagged holes, healed already. “It’s me, children. Touch me. See for yourselves.”

Some of us surge forward, some hang back. His mother throws her arms around him. Some are exclaiming, some are praying.

“Do you have anything to eat?” Jesus asks.

I hand him a piece of broiled fish and he eats it, grinning as if he thinks it’s funny that we have to be convinced he’s not a ghost. By now, we’re all grinning back, beginning to feel giddy.

He’s alive! Maybe from now on I’ll believe me! I really wasn’t imagining it. It’s not over. His conquest of the Romans could be greatly enhanced by this story!

But then he becomes solemn, and gazes around at each individual one of us. We grow quiet, waiting.

“These are my words,” he says, “the ones I spoke to you while I was still with you.”

But…wait…he’s with us now! He’s back, right? We can go on together…?

“Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled. Remember when I told you that?”

He proceeds to give us a Bible study. And this time, we start to get it. The suffering, the death, the rising on the third day…I can almost understand…

He looks at each of us again, but when his eyes reach mine, it’s as if there’s no one else in the room. “You are my witnesses of these things,” he says, and I feel something shift in my heart.

I—I am his witness. Whether anyone listens to me or not.

I am.