Monday, March 21, 2005

No One Says Much

Looking out the window, the dark outline of the temple is slowly emerging against the pale light of the dawn. Some of the women are stirring and I suppose they are leaving for the tomb. I have not been to the tomb, and the thought of going sickens my stomach. They really should not be leaving this early, while it is yet dark and without the men, but I watch them leave and say nothing. I feel nothing. The remaining torch casts a flickering shadow against the far wall and the noises of soft groaning and steady rocking are the only sounds that disturb the dark silence. My back is stiff from staying too long upon a hard floor, but I have not the will to move. The effort required seems beyond me. I have not slept this night, nor have most of the others. The ones fortunate enough to sleep have found a temporary peace, but I do not envy their waking moments, when the knowledge of what has happened comes fresh again upon them.

No one says much.

Even Peter, who normally has plenty to say, says nothing. He did not come to the house until the fourth watch and will not look or speak to anyone. He has not been with us much this Sabbath. By the looks of him this early morning, I do not think he has slept at all. There is a deep, unquenchable sorrow in his face, and I fear that he blames himself for what has happened. He was no worse than the rest of us, really, but the few attempts Andrew made to convince him of this have been met with anger. His clenched teeth groan out self loathings that are too softly spoken to be made sense of. He holds himself responsible and I suppose he finds it hard to imagine that we don’t as well.

But I have no energy for judgement. I have no energy for anything. Life ended for me two nights ago in a garden. Fitting I suppose, that humanity was first ruined in a garden and now in another garden it has been ruined again. The night that my father died, that awful night that I sat upon his bed, listening to his raking coughs as I wiped the blood from his mouth, does not equal the pain that engulfs me now. But it is not the pain that smothers me. It is the hopelessness. One can survive pain when one has hope, but without hope there is nothing. It is a dangerous thing, hope, for the more you trust in it, the more destroyed you are when it fails you. And my hope has failed me. I am crushed, ruined. There is nothing left. The pain is so deep that it has left me hollow, the hopelessness so numbing that I cannot feel. I do not even have the energy for anger at God to sustain me. He has crushed me, crushed us all, and I have not the strength to resist him.

I find myself staring at my hands, slowly opening and closing them, watching the tendons contract as they pull my fingers into a fist. I wonder how much it hurt him… I wonder why I cannot cry. My wounded thoughts turn toward Heaven and questions that I have been too weary to ask begin to drift painfully from my lips.

“Does not the Psalmist say, Lord God,
that you deliver your righteous one from all his enemies?”
Have you not promised that you do not forsake your chosen ones?
Yet were not his final words, ‘My God My God why have you forsaken me?’
How heavy your hand is upon me. How thoroughly you have deceived us."

We who had been so sure that he was the one whom you sent to redeem Israel. Had not even he had thought it so? A prophet mighty in deed and word. He delivered even from death by the might of your hand. Lazarus. The widow’s son. The sleeping girl. But you would not deliver him. You who shook the earth when he died and blackened the sun as he gave up his spirit. You who hold all things together. You who parted the sea, and sent the destroyer. You who raptured Elija. Enoch. Yet…

Eloi Eloi Lameth Sabactheni.

Are these to be the dying words of one who did not forsake you? No Lord, this day you do not make sense. My spirit is crushed within me and my hope has fallen to the ground.

And then it comes, like a breath, like a whisper, as gentle as a thought.

In what have you hoped, child?

I answer the whisper, my heart heavy with bitterness. “I have hoped in you.”

Brushing aside my answer, He asks again, In what have you hoped child?

"Sorrow upon sorrow, I have hoped in you."

The question comes again, soft, relentless, In what have you hoped child?

And now the pain comes, the bitterness of betrayal, the sickening feeling of misplaced trust. "I had hoped in you".

Once more the question comes, ignoring my answers, In what have you hoped child?

I say nothing, my spirit heavy within me.

And then the voice speaks. The voice that call things and they are, that speaks and it is so. The voice of final judgement. Softer than before, but heavier, a statement, so sure, so true that it cannot be questioned, You have hoped in your own understanding.

I hear the sound of foot steps on the stairs. The door crashes open and morning sunlight floods into the dark room. It is Mary. A heavenly light dances in her eyes and her smile shines like that of an angel’s.


J Daniel said...

wow, a few healthy tears of abandonment and joy are needed once in a while for me, thanks. what a day for them! what a long dark day! what despair we are left with if it stayed that way...if

CrnbrdEater said...

Oh wow! I can't wait to find out what happens! Whoever this Mary is she seems quite excitable. All I have to say is she had better watch out. Everyone in the apartment seem pretty down.

Seriously, though, I am looking forward to the next installment.

Dan J. said...

That's some really good stuff. I've never really thought about what the disciples must have gone through until the reappearance, what a day indeed.

Gerald said...


Sorry to dissapoint. That's all there is.

CrnbrdEater said...

That is okay. I think I have heard this story before.

Secret Rapture said...

My Inaugural Address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured
out billions!

My Inaugural Address (PDF

Main site: My Inaugural Address
Also: My Inaugural Address

Your jaw will drop!