This Is A Test...
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
I'm made for Holy Week, or Holy Week was made for me, because it's in the minor key. I'm much more in sync with Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the pristine silence of Holy Saturday, than I am with the "spring is busting out all over" pastel-bonnet vibe of Easter.
Oh, no---is Holy Week GOTH? Tuesday Addams would adore Holy Thursday.
I'm a Presbyterian now, but I can't bring myself to call this "Maundy Thursday." I do love that the word derives from "commandment," Jesus’s commandment to love one another.
Cute, Jesus, real cute. Sounds so Hallmark tidy, doesn't it? But love can look so messy up close, like a Monet.
Easy to love from afar, in concept, when love has Vaseline smeared on its lens. How the fuck do I love the faculty member who is teeming with privilege and self-righteousness? How do I love the racists in my town who attempt to sow discord at every turn?
What did Meg Loscomb declare on Facebook? Sometimes "your peace work is to say F off." Well, I haven't done that (yet), because it's just not useful, and I need to pay the mortgage in two weeks. But the sentiment does line up with Brene Brown's "clear is kind" mantra. Damn, love is no joke. Love and awesome and soul—overused, abused, and misunderstood words, along with "God" and "Jesus." As Krista Tippett often says, love can be "muscular," it can be robust. That's the kind of love that interests me.
And tonight is the Agony in the Garden. Jesus, sweating, asking God to take this from him (because really, why not check to see if maybe God is just, you know, testing you: This is a test. If this were a real emergency....), to remove all that is to come in the morning, but ultimately saying, "Your will be done."
I stowed a scrap of paper in my night table drawer when I was screwing up the courage to decide to leave D. And those lines were scribbled across that tiny strip of paper: "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but your will be done."
It's as if I chose such a slender strip of paper because I was barely certain. I needed to keep my intentions small and contained in order to accept them and to do what I had to do.
This was not a cup I wanted to sip from. But somehow, knowing Jesus had chosen to endure something so painful—betrayal, physical agony, losing life, which he loved—made the decision bearable. Mostly.