Leaning in so far that we fall

Last fall I wrote a paper on "The Essential Pause of Holy Saturday in the Triduum." And I was really into the paper. But I don't think it was really until yesterday that I saw the truth of what I'd written months before.

Though I had been recognizing the movement of Holy Week for years with Good Friday prayer, a Saturday Easter vigil, and of course, a big brunch party on Resurrection Sunday, I had only just learned that this three-day narrative arch was known as the triduum (trij-oo-uh-m). In my paper, I wrote about the role that Holy Saturday plays as a paradoxical space in which the silence of the God of the universe speaks volumes. I wrote that it is not merely a turn of events between the death and resurrection of Jesus but rather an essential pause in which Christ's descent into hell deprives evil of its power over our lives and all of creation. I wrote that in the stillness of Holy Saturday, Jesus bears witness to the suffering of the world and we are released from the binds of our grief. On Holy Saturday, we are invited to lean into the silence of the world's wounds.

And I think my hope is that we'll lean in so far that we'll fall right into the celebration of resurrection.

In reading these words again today, on this Holy Saturday, I see the truth behind the hunch of my creative process. I'm grateful to have these words to reflect on, and I'm grateful for a renewed richness to this day.

This past Holy Week has been rather bogged down by the weight of the final weeks of a graduate school term. And I know I've really missed out on the usual rhythms to this week. I'm 2,000 miles away from the people I usually convene with on Good Friday for prayer around the cross and the fantastic gathering of folks who ring in the resurrection with an Easter Vigil like I've never seen. A dear friend reminded me to be alert to how the Master of the Universe might break into these disrupted rhythms in a unique way, surprising me with his presence. 

I just love it when people are right in things like this, because I got to recognize Holy Saturday and anticipate the resurrection with row after row of tulips. 

It seemed fitting that we would be surrounded by such beauty in abundance and then get stuck in the mud. When we happened upon these white tulips splattered with mud, I couldn't help but see these as an emblem of Holy Saturday. 

It's neat how God sees us so well and meets us in that space.

Lastly, I'm grateful for the unexpected means of learning and reflecting. And yes, somehow we find ourselves reading just the right thing in just the right season. On Maundy Thursday, Mary Oliver's words graced the day:

Where are you?
Do you know that the heart has a dungeon?
Bring light! Bring light!

And yesterday, a friend shared these words from none other than the Tale of Despereaux:

Despereaux looked at his father, at his grey-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two. His father looked so small, so sad.
"Forgive me," said Lester again.
Forgiveness, reader, is, I think, something very much like hope and love - a powerful, wonderful thing.
And a ridiculous thing, too.
Isn't it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn't it ridiculous to think that a mouse ever could forgive anyone for such perfidy?
But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, "I forgive you, Pa."
And he said those words because he sensed it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. 

I love when the words of a children's book nail it so profoundly.

And so, dear reader, go forth and bring light, lean into the ridiculous hope and love of the reverberating drum.