Friday, April 06, 2007

The worst day of my life

A Meditation on the Passion according to St. John.
Today is the worst day of my life.
I thought that the worst day of my life was when the angel appeared in my garden and told me I was going to have a son, and I didn't have a husband yet.
That turned out alright. Joseph somehow understood, and Elizabeth too. She told me she believed what I had been told, that my son was going to be someone special. She told me her son leaped in her womb when I arrived.
I thought that the worst day of my life was when we couldn't find a place to stay in Bethlehem, and my time was so near.
But really, the stable turned out to be perfect. From there we could hear the stars sing when he was born. In the stable the Shepherds felt like Kings. It was just the right place to begin. When the Kings came following him like sheep, I knew they were in the right place.

He did it, you know. My son. He lifted up the low and brought down those who were haughty. He was Love. He loved those shepherds who came on his birth-day. He loved the Kings who foretold his reign and his death.
I thought that the worst day of my life was when Joseph hurried us out in the middle of the night back to Egypt. I felt like Miriam all backwards.
But it was good to be in the land of Joseph, it was good to be welcome in the place where our people had been slaves. It was good to come back home again when the danger was gone.
I thought that the worst day of my life was on the way home from Passover, and Jesus was nowhere to be found.
I knew in my heart where he was. I knew then that he knew who he was, as I had always known. He was always my son. He is always my son. But I knew when I found him in the temple that he knew he was God's Son as well. The temple is his home that way, his Father's house.
I thought that the worst day of my life was when my Uncle ran out of wine at the wedding. It seems so trivial, but it was the only wedding of the season that year, and everyone was there, I knew he could do something, but he Jesus kept looking at me like I was, ... his mom.
When he finally decided to act, it was love all over again. Nothing big and fancy, I don't think more than three of us really knew what he did, but he filled their cups.
It wasn't easy, once he got started in the public eye. John baptised him and he lost his head soon after. Our hometown pushed him away. The scribes never let him alone.
All through it, though, he loved. That's why they followed, you know. It didn't matter if you were fisherman or fishmonger. Tax collector or tawdry woman. Tent maker or temple guard. He loved you and you felt like the most important person in the whole world.
People came and went. They came to be healed; they complained when it was on the sabbath. They came in droves to be fed, reaching for a scrap of bread; they chastised him for his choice of dinner guests. They came to hear the stories, and they took what they could.
If you listened like a child, like someone who has everything to learn, you went away filled with living water.
If you listened like a Scribe, like someone who has everything to loose, you turned away filled with deadly anger.
I thought that the best day of my life was just a few days ago, when the crowds welcomed him into town with Hosannas and branches. I thought, finally they know what I know, he is the Messiah, He is the Son of God. I thought maybe the tide had finally turned.
But now it is the worst day of my life. The tide had turned, and soon it was obvious which way it had turned. How is it that a few angry men can change the minds of so many? How did the Hosannas turn to Crucify Him? How did he get here, to the cross?
I'm waiting for my ram to appear in the bushes. Like Sara, when her son was led up the mountain to be sacrificed. The ram appeared in the bushes and her son was cut down. I want my ram to appear today. I can't survive without a son, no one will care for me with Joseph gone.
Is this my ram, this new son? Even on the cross, he's loving others. Forgiving everyone. Promising paradise to one who begs to follow, even in this his last hour. And a new son for me.
My son is the Ram, our sins on his shoulders like my scarf around my head. And like the lamb that we used to run out of the village with our transgressions, like the offerings slain upon the altar for our debts, he is here.
If this is Love, let it be, let it be.

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