In my imagination it is a beautiful sunny day as I stand behind Jesus outside a dusty tomb. In truth, I am uncomfortable because there is loud wailing in the air. By nature, I do not wail. I am the product of a generation that valued dignity perhaps too highly. But this is the Middle East. No such convention binds this crowd. By now they should have understood that where he is there are always miracles of some kind but they weep with such hopeless abandon that the Master becomes disturbed in his own spirit.

I confess, I am surprised by his tears. Those around him think he weeps for his friend, but I think he weeps because they have no hope – the robber, Death, has not yet been vanquished and they are still to understand what “I am the Resurrection and the Life” truly means.

With a great shout the Light of the World hurls these words at the dark mouth of the now open tomb: "Lazarus, come out!"

Jaw-dropping shock immobilizes the crowd around me as the unsteady figure appears. Jesus shouts at us all: "Let him go!" and with trembling hands we hurriedly do as he commands. Then we laugh and clap each other’s backs and we dance. And we look amazed at Lazarus dancing until the very stench of death is washed away by the sweat of new life!

I weep for the way I too often don't see the possibilities of reaching out to bring liberty. After all, those rags stink and make me shudder.

And I find it astonishing that Life is in his hand, but Liberty is in mine!