The Darkest Day


This is the darkest day.
This is the day of complete despair, utter desolation, total hopelessness.
This is Holy Saturday.

Did birds sing on this day?
Did babies smile and grab their feet?
Was there any part of creation that did not know all was lost?

Did the disciples hold each other and cry,
or was the grief too much to bear,
too much to share,
so eye contact was avoided,
each person remaining a solitary island of prickling agony?

Did they talk to each other,
or did they fall into numbed silence,
replaying events in their minds,
wishing they had acted differently at this moment,
or at that moment –
wondering if they had let a pivotal moment slip
when they could have averted this whole disaster?

Mixed in with the consuming devastation,
was there also a sharp glint of fear,
a knife-edge at the throat –
if this can happen, anything can happen –
am I next?
And if I am, can I stand it?
Do I have it within me to make him proud?

Were there those among them who were angry at Jesus?
Quiet murmurs in the corners —
he lied to us.
Look, nothing we hoped for happened,
and now he’s dead,
we’re on the run,
and nothing will ever be good again.
I wish I’d never met him,
never gotten my hopes up,
never entered in to any of this.
It wasn’t worth it.

Was Peter sitting in the corner,
head in hands,
slowly rocking,
moaning softly to himself,
violently shuddering off anyone’s touch,
lost in lament,
keening, beating his breast,
cursing the day he was born?

If we could enter into the story at this point,
step into this room filled with palpable despair,
and tell them what was about to happen
if only they would hold on,
not give up,
trust God –

would anyone believe us?


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