Part 1 I find myself alone, a coincidence of one child old enough to fly a thousand miles on her own, and another still willing to go on a Daddy walk in all the old places. So I sit, coffee and pastel M&M’s in hand, feeling the emotions of the last two days roll through, a tidal wave, pulsing and crashing til I am no more than bits of sand and things that used to be. Crushed and splintered I hurt, for have I ever encountered Him in the story this way? First there was the foot washing and I was fine - just fine, really until the girl, about three years old, wandered up front to the embarrassment of her dad. Our priest greeted her with a smile, took off her little shoes, washed her little feet. The church held its collective breath in holy witness: As one with the power to run the show paused, to give dignity to one of the least. Something within me has dislodged just a bit.
Part 2 Then came my morning at home: math lessons, walk the dog, and make sure everyone knows what to do. Chronic, monotonous duties the preparations for her trip a drive to the airport, pizza and hugs goodbye, prayer in traffic for safe travels. But soon I found myself in that space again, Jesus and other pilgrims, the story washing over us with familiar words: “Could you not stay awake one hour?” and “Judas came with a kiss” “I will never leave you!” “Pilate had him flogged” “Answer me!” And most damning of all: “Crucify him!” Then the invitation, come, before the wooden cross, and touch it, Kneel, bow or kiss. There is no rush, Each person is given the space and time; some openly weep, most take their full moment, and I am undone. Is it any wonder I sit, coffee and prayers growing cold on this morning of waiting, A shredding of it all?
Part 3 I find myself wiping the kitchen counters furiously sweeping the corners full of dust bunnies and shaking dog hair off the comforter. I cannot escape my own thoughts. Sitting still is too hard, spring cleaning doesn’t scrub them away. What is there left for me to do? Nothing. It has all been done. It is finished. But I am not finished!
Part 4 In a moment part gace and part desperation, I cease my frantic work, exercising trust muscles weak, but enough. Hoping, praying for the morning to come, That I and all who trust that Death Does Not Have The Last Word, will rise to see all the sand and broken bits everything that has been shredded begun to be - carefully, purposefully - remade.
This poem was written on Holy Saturday 2022 as I reflected on my experiences at our church, Trinity North Shore over the last two days. Thanks to the folks at church who came together for such meaningful worship experiences, and thanks to Ian at Drum Drum Photo for the beautiful pictures of both events. The beach photo is mine and I hope encourages you to look for the morning!