And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them... answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
-- Luke 24:17-32
I love this little story on the road to Emmaus. It is my most favorite part of the Easter story. And I love Caravaggio's image of Christ teaching at that home and the intense intrigue of each disciple around that dinner table.
Think of all the things that just happened prior to this scene (the tomb, the resurrection, ascending to his Father, organizing the teaching in the Spirit World, etc.) and everything that happens after(meeting with the apostles, last instructions, off to the Americas, etc). And here he is taking time to walk and teach and touch this little insignificant family group. This one-on-one approach, and the subsequent one-on-one touching that follows is so meaningful to me. Though I fall short in so many ways, it is what has always been my goal to live my life touching those around me. And in so many ways, you have touched me.
I know that I've been feeling more cynical about many things lately, particularly about things that were always held sacred and unquestioned previously. Even during the recent conference, it was hard to not feel cynicism rising within me. Where faith and conviction have had residency within my heart, fear and doubt now reside... Much of this has come about as I've faced my newly discovered reality in accepting my homosexuality.
Can I still open my eyes and see, or has my cynicism blinded me? Can I still open my heart and feel the burning within me or have I forgotten how to feel? When I contemplate this little story, and when I "liken it unto me", I can't help but be reminded that my eyes have been opened, and my heart has burned within me, and I simply need to remember what I've seen and felt to realize I'm still not past feeling... and I do know, and I still believe, and there is still hope.
There is always hope...