Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday: holy week.

It was finished.
And suddenly it was Saturday.
He was tortured, killed and buried in a tomb right before their eyes.
And as Christians, we tend to talk about it and literally walk straight into the redemption of Sunday.
But I am now and likely always will be a Saturday girl.
 I mean honestly, the Saturday in this Easter story goes like this:
The one they love is dead.  He JUST died.  They are wounded, pained, reeling from their loss.  No one is singing hymns, wearing their best dress, or celebrating.  No one has any idea at all that there could be anything to celebrate. 
Mabel died at 5:23 am and we buried her on the same day, almost exactly 12 hours later.  The sun had shone brilliantly all day, even moments before we drove her to the cemetery. My brother and her da carried her casket from the front door of our house to the hearse and I remember the way the sun looked on their faces because I stood alone in the yard and watched their every step, heartbroken for these two men who loved her more than anything. 
As we drove ten miles west to the cemetery where she would be buried the sky turned dark, dark blue and the wind began to blow fiercely.  It felt like a storm was raging behind the clouds.  But it never did rain on us that day.  It just blew like a Heavenly reminder from God of all His power and wonder.
And goodness.
So, like the biblical account of the death of Jesus, our baby died and was buried in one day.  This is not what our culture is accustomed to but it was our plan and God had His hand in seeing it through in such a way that would bring all of us, especially her siblings, the most peace. 
She died on a Friday.
I'm still trying, but the memories from Friday night escape me completely.  I do not remember leaving the cemetery, or getting into bed, or anything beyond the wails and cries that echo in my mind from her tiny best friend at her spot that day.
Saturday morning I woke up and found him sitting up next to me in our bed, just waiting.  Just so I wouldn't wake alone.  The living room was full of the women who didn't leave my side for days before or the days that followed. 
If I remember right they joined me in bed after he got up and they didn't leave.  But I have no recollection of the rest of the day.  Not because I was medicated or because I slept for hours.  Because my body was physically in shock. 
Shock:  a sudden or violent mental or emotional disturbance.
I asked several of my friends and Chris this morning about Saturday and they all said the same thing, "I literally have no recollection.  I do not remember."
The Saturday of the Easter story is all about pain. 
Shock.  Emotional disturbance. 
And those of us who are grieving or who are in pain, we are surely Saturday people.  We can most certainly relate to Jesus' loved ones on this very day.  The people that loved Jesus had to fight hard to live through Saturday.  I'm sure there was gnashing and flailing and waves of guttural cries from bathrooms all around. 
There was no expectation of return.  Of rising.  No talk of resurrection or hope of what the death of the man they loved truly meant for the world.  They had no real idea what tomorrow would bring.  There were no memes for them to cling to, "Sunday is coming!" 
What does that even mean? 
We Christians like to sprinkle this Easter week with a whole lot of excitement and celebration and feel-goodness.  But now that I can envision the human emotion behind the events, I know it just wasn't so.  Even Easter Sunday absolutely didn't feel the way we think it did or happen the way we'd like to believe it happened, I'm certain.  What mother is thrilled to see that her child's body is not in the tomb where she left it?  How disturbing and disheartening and sickening must that have felt? 
What kind of faith would she have had to have in order to believe all that we are taught to believe. 
I just find it so complex and difficult to imagine Mary in joyful celebration after watching her child be brutally killed and now, not knowing where His body actually is. 
Surely on Saturday, Jesus' mother was not clinging to the hope that her only Son would rise from his grave and ensure for the coming world that there was an eternal home waiting for us.  Jesus' mother was lamenting for her child.  Surely she was unable to look in a mirror, unable to stand in the shower, unable to leave the house, unable to think about eating, unable to remember anything other than what just took place the day before and try to wrap her mind around it. 
It was Saturday and He just died on Friday. 
This day, the pain, it had to be horrendous. 
Today I reflect on my own Saturday and try to remember.  I'm thankful that the memories aren't there; that they've disappeared.  So in turn, I'm trying hard to envision a Saturday without a child that was a human son to Mary and God to us--a God who died for us.  
It's all so big and all so heavy.  I don't know how to carry or make sense of it. 
I woke up today, once again humbled at the journey that Jesus took but also those that loved Him. 
They have helped me know that surviving Saturday is vital to surviving grief. 
There is hope in it all, even if we don't know that it is coming.
For all of you other 'Saturday people', maybe today we can simply try.
"The presence of love, the presence of grief.  The acknowledgement of both--in fact, welcoming both.  Leaving the door open, leaving emptiness a place at the table..."
Until tomorrow, when we know and accept the truth of what we believe it means for us, give yourself permission to sit in the grief and sadness of today, Saturday. 
I know I will. 

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