Holy Saturday

The darkest day.
The day of complete despair,
desolation,
hopelessness.
Holy Saturday.

Did birds sing on this day?
Did the sun shine?
Were children noisy and playful,
or did the whispering of the somber adults quell them
into watchful silence?

Was there any part of creation that did not know all was lost?

Did the disciples sit together 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 speak to each other at all,
or did they remain in numbed silence,
replaying events in their minds,
wishing they had acted differently
at this moment or that,
wondering if they had let a pivotal instant slip
when they could have averted this whole disaster?

Mixed in with the consuming devastation,
was there also a spike 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.

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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