Slum-ber-ing: To be in a state of inactivity, negligence, quiescence, or calm. To dispel or forget by slumbering.”

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It is Good Friday.
I am sitting in a silent sanctuary.
Seven candles are burning on the Communion table draped in the black of mourning.
The door, usually closed and locked, stands open to the dank and drizzly day outside.
I sit within.

The door is my window to the world outside.
I sit waiting to utter Christ’s last words.
To extinguish the candles one by one.
To ring the church bells marking the time until the temple curtain tears from top to bottom and the earth shakes and the wind of God blows fierce through the world.
I am sitting in a silent sanctuary.

Alone.

I am hidden inside looking out.
No one can see me if they look in.
I don’t know if seeing me would discourage or encourage visitors
to creep up the stone stairs
and take a peek inside the darkened room.

I feel as if I am sitting in the empty tomb.
It’s not so bad.
I feel safe from the ills of the world, the dangers, the pain and suffering, the clamoring crowds, the demands for nourishment, rescue, and healing.

I wonder…am I trapped?
or hiding?

Am I dead?

I have been reading, and praying, and dozing off from a restless, sleepless night,
coughing and coming down with something.
Half awake, I hang suspended in that place between dreaming and wakefulness
That liminal place where mystery dwells.
I find I am in the garden slumbering.
Jesus suddenly appears and asks, “Can’t you stay awake with me, one hour?”
And then he is gone.

Gone.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is so very weak.

Outside, I hear footsteps hurrying past.
People in conversation seemingly with themselves although I know they are somehow
plugged in to someone, somewhere…or are they?
Plugged in, but are they really connected?
To anything? To anyone?

I can hear the delighted chatter of the birds celebrating God’s new day.
Chirping, croaking, whistling…the abundance of song is dazzling.
I hear the whispered pattering of soft rain on the pavement.
I can smell the freshness of the newly washed air.

Inside, the candles aren’t flickering, even with the door open.
Not a breath of air… not a breeze …
…nothing stirring….

Only the cold seems to find its way in…
making me tremble….tremble….tremble.

It is only by the open door that I can feel the promise of spring and new life.

New life.

Outside.

Matthew tells us that when Jesus breathed his last, “The earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After Jesus’ resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.” [Matt 27:51 – 53]

And yet…here I sit.

Inside.

Have I not noticed that the stone was rolled away ages ago
and Jesus has long gone on ahead from here?

Gone.
Gone out.
Shaken off the sleep of death and gone out.
Out from the tomb.
Out into the world.

I hear the distant call of bells, sounding the alarm.
Is it time for me to wake up?
Is it time for me to go out?
To go out and join Jesus?

That is the question…Wake up?
Or go on dozing?
The snooze button is always so tempting.

Soon.

Soon the promised day will come!
Soon Jesus will arise!
Three days!
And all who are dead will rise up and follow!

We will!

We will!

Won’t we?

One thought on “Slum-ber-ing: To be in a state of inactivity, negligence, quiescence, or calm. To dispel or forget by slumbering.”

  1. Anonymous April 6, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Carol, what a blessing you give us with these beautiful, heart-warming posts! Thank you so much!

    Like

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