Nothing should compare to this:
our singularity that, with earthquake force,
shakes stones, baffles Rome, turns
the mourners from the tomb with lightning conviction.
And day on day this truth remains,
though I have dishes to wash
and the ever-turning of the present
makes me more a sullen Peter returning to his net
than a Mary, fleeing the dead, for dear life –
yes, for Life
had said her name and was here.
“So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”
This in-between space is our home ground:
the time after glories and horrors alike,
the time before or after sleep –
and sometimes, sometimes it is a stretch,
sometimes a quest, or a rest.
Yet the tomb is cracking open. The ground
is trembling, if you keep your ear close.
And life is at work even as death is at work,
the silent whisper, ever, ever.
I gospel myself out the door,
toddler in tow, schedule awry,
trusting the carboot to have what I need,
trusting the grace that orchestrates the day
while, afluster, I stride across
traffic lights in petroleum-fueled step,
eager to evade the Good Friday appeal because,
this day as per others, I’ve no change to spare.
I gospel the fissures where the mind tends to fizzle,
the legacy of this morning’s early vigil,
my son keeping watch in Gethsemane while
my weak-willing flesh resisted the prayer.
I gospel my slack-hearted refusal of gospel.
Though Christ plays
in a thousand places, I
fragment my mind in a thousand spaces.
Calvary only is needed today.
Gospel me, here and always.
So many ways to wash feet:
the posture, not the precise nature of the action, matters – poised
at ground level, familiar with the dust
and grime of the day’s streets,
outer garments shed to throw off all show,
the creak in the knees accompanying the splash
and the mess of the self washing off in the bowl.
So many ways, yet I
am more comfortable to be Peter:
between pride and gung-ho humility,
reserved and haughty in equal measure,
more at home with excuses
than the flagrant shame of love.
If I would be a disciple, I need only start
with the crick in these old, ossified joints
as I teach them to get love’s job done.
and the laundry, piled up
in crevices and corridors as though to say,
“You can hide me, but you cannot do without me.”
Toys underfoot and books scattered wide
amongst other toddler treasures:
a measuring cup, a rooster,
a brochure considered la mode before
some other fancy flitted through the growing mind.
Some things are permanent, like
dishes, some new –
an Amen! after grace.
Unsettled nights and
teary mornings only serve to say
that all this may pass, but God
it is good that it finds me at all.