Why can’t his followers recognize the risen Christ? Well, why can’t we? I mean, I do not go through my day expecting to see Jesus. Perhaps the first followers of Jesus’ minds were too narrow to be able to embrace a resurrected presence, too stuck in the physical world of politics and power, too set in their expectations that Jesus would overthrow the Romans and so unleash the liberation they had come to expect. In other words, maybe they’re just like us, struggling to see God at work in our lives, especially when God doesn’t act as we expect—when we don’t get the healing, the rescue or the comfort we are looking for. Our minds and spirits need to expand to give us a God-sized imagination that is capable of experiencing God’s love on God’s terms. Did it look like love to allow Jesus to suffer and die on the cross? Probably not. Does it feel like love when we are suffering and struggling financially, emotionally or spiritually? Most of the time, no. At least it doesn’t to me. I’m usually asking, “Why is this happening?” assuming that it shouldn’t be, rather than asking, “What is God doing?” Our minds and spirits need to expand to give us a God-sized imagination that is capable of experiencing God’s love on God’s terms."Some women from our group, however, have astounded us,” the disciples tell their companion. “They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.” Jesus is alive. This is the truth of Easter and this is the reality that has for millennia been so difficult for us to fully understand and experience. If God is bigger than death, and if God’s love is more powerful than death, then we really have nothing to fear. Nothing should prevent us from loving freely and fully, from risking our own well-being to help others, and from ridding ourselves of all anxiety and fear. I have to admit that I’m much more like these first disciples than I care to admit. There they are, walking along, complaining about how things didn’t go according to their plans, and Jesus is right beside them, alive and prepared to teach them and lead them. How much of my life is spent behaving the same way? Quite a bit! But Easter teaches us that we don’t have to live that way. Jesus is alive. His presence is with us. Let us pray for the vision to see him and follow him. Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected]