Once… (a Holy Saturday meditation)

Once, I walked on water.

Once...
Once…

 

Once, I looked into his laughing eyes while I put one naked foot after the other on the shifting surface of a stormy sea. But yesterday…

…his eyes were filled with pain. The pain of disappointment, “Why couldn’t you stay awake with me, especially tonight, Simon?” The pain of a thousand crushing voices screaming, “Crucify him!” The pain of betrayal, “I don’t know him. Never saw him before. You lie! I’m not with him.” The pain of separation, “Take care of her, John.”

 

Once, I felt his hands (made strong with helping his dad build and repair tables for all those years) pluck me from raging waters that grabbed at me, threatening to overwhelm. Hands whose only violent act had been to rebuke blasphemous dogs who took advantage of the faithful poor. Hands that healed and blessed and fed. Hands that reached out to restore what my one poorly aimed blow so foolishly cut away. Once I watched his hands break the unleavened bread, offer the cup to Judas. But yesterday…
…those hands were pierced and bleeding, convulsed in agony. I watched hands I love strain in anguish against iron spikes, despite mangled muscle and torn tendon.

 

Once, I heard his voice, calling to me over the wind and the waves, laughing as he shouted the name he’d given me. “Rock!” And then chiding me, like I was a little boy, for being afraid when he was right there with me the whole time. The voice that stopped the wind and the waves and soothed the crying babes placed in his always open arms. But yesterday…
…his voice cried out in misery as nails were driven through his wrists, and then that voice spoke words of forgiveness to his enemies, to those who betrayed him, and to those of us who said we loved him and would never leave him, but were too afraid to stand with him. And I heard his voice cry out to his Father. Our Father. “Abba, Abba…”

 

Once, I couldn’t wait to get out of the boat. Nothing could have stopped me from stepping from the deck to the water. But yesterday…
…I couldn’t wait to get away from the scene of my shame. My bones turned to water at the words of a serving girl. The stones of the courtyard might as well have been waves as the eyes that witnessed my shame rolled over me like a flood.
…Friday, no matter where I ran, or from whom I turned, my flight put me on the hill overlooking the place of execution. I saw it all. I heard it all. The darkness and the weeping. The jeers and the awe.

 

Yesterday, when I heard that cock crow, I knew nothing would ever be right again.

 

But once…

 

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2 thoughts on “Once… (a Holy Saturday meditation)

  • April 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm
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    Your prose is poetry, whether you intend it to be so or not. Vivid and visceral. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    Reply

I'd love to hear your perspective.