Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

These words come from Neryl McCallum, written for this year's Easter Saturday reflection at Pilgrim Uniting Church.
These words lead us through various stages of grief and loss, as is appropriate for Easter Saturday, the in-between space. Perhaps the words might guide you through the in-between space. It is not the whole picture of Easter - that is still to come on Easter Sunday. But it is a moment in time for Mary of Bethany, caught in the emotions of grief and loss, and yet knowing there is more to come.

Mary of Bethany

I have been here before,
In this in-between space,
This space of uncertainty,
This place of grief.
This place where belief and disbelief collide together
Like waves collide against a rocky shore.
Where you're never certain if you're the shore,
Or if you are the thrashing waves.
Perhaps you are both -
Perhaps you are the moment of collision
Wave crashing into rock,
Rock drowned by wave -
Perhaps you are the emptiness in between
When the wave has resided
And the rock awaits another lashing.

I have been here before,
In this in-between space,
This place of uncertainty,
This place of sorrow;
This twilight place of shadow and light
where gloominess reaches out with fingers of grey
to dim and dull the world,
But where everything is illuminated by a golden touch
that brings forth the stars.
Here you feel the creeping grey
yet you are touched by the gold.
And when you look to the sky
you see a radiance of stars,
But you know they are shining there because it is dark.

I have been to this place before,
This in-between place,
Where what is past, has past,
and what remains, is uncertain.
Where what you have loved is gone,
All breath is gone, all heartbeat is gone,
All speech is gone, embrace is gone;
Yet you remain with your breath, your heartbeat,
with speech, but no words to explain
the aching and longing for one last embrace.

I have been to this place before,
This place, terrible place of abandonment.
Where anger dwells at the loved one's choice
To go passively,
Without a fight,
to simply step into a fate
that would be of no use,
bring about no good,
serve no purose,
other than to destroy the belief
he had instilled in us all,
that life is eternal and has no power over death.

I have been to this place before,
This terrible place of fury.
Where I long to scream at those who ran away,
Curse at those who beat him and hung him high,
Shriek at those manipulating politicians,
Who would not make a stand
against what they knew was wrong,
take revenge on those schemers who planned it all.
This is a place of despair where hatred comes easily.

I have been trapped in this place before,
and it was he, who led me away from here,
away from grief and sorrow,
away from anger and fear,
away from despairing hatred.
It was he who helped me rediscover joy,
who taught me to hope again.
I'm not sure I can leave this place on my own,
yet the lingering scent of my bridal perfume
invades my senses,
and tells me there is more to come
and begs me to go. 

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