Paul Greenberg

I could have predicted even before I went to the tomb that I'd be disappointed. That's what I'd expected and that's what I found. The stone was rolled away and ... nothing. The disciples only confirmed it when they looked inside. He was gone and would never return. It had all been for naught, just as we feared, then expected, and all too quickly accepted. We see what we train ourselves to see.

So when I saw the gardener -- for who else could it be? -- I wept and wailed and asked for the kind of help I knew neither he nor anyone else could give me: that he return my Friend, my Lord, my Hope, to me.

Not that I really expected anything of the sort. I'd seen what had happened -- from a distance. I could not bear to stand close, like the men. And yet I could not tear myself away, either. I could not leave Him like that. You have friends, don't you, young man? Could you leave them like that? All I asked the gardener was to tell me where they had taken him.

Then I heard my name. How strange, I thought. How could the gardener have known me? That's when I turned. And I realized who had spoken to me, who The Gardener was, and the whole, fake world was turned upside down, the facade torn away, the night shattered as the sun rose. He had risen.

Funny how all you need is to be called by your right name -- and turn. You have to turn, young man. That's the key. Only then can you can really see Him, as if for the first time. Then everything falls into place. Surely you've felt that way when you've been in love, wanting only to serve the beloved, asking for nothing else, knowing it to be the purest happiness. This was like that, only forever.

Another sip of wine? I'd join you, but just to say the blessing. I don't need the wine. I've been drunk with life, and love, ever since that moment when it hit me: The gardener! Well, I'll be! Of course. I'd had no idea.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.