The day after the worst day

A Reflection for Holy Saturday

Last week I was on vacation with my family in Mexico.  One morning, I did yoga on the beach, led in Spanish by a skinny, weathered, aged man, with a faded turban and a long, grey beard. At one point, he had us sitting with our legs crossed, and he picked up his leg carefully, with both hands, and gently tucked his foot into the crook of his arm, smoothing out his toes. He cradled his knee into the fold of his other arm, and rocked his lower leg softly back and forth like an infant. Then he invited us to do the same.  
When I picked up my leg and held it like that, the underside of my foot staring me in the face, my toes splayed up brazenly toward the sun, when I felt the weight of part of myself in my arms that I have never held before, and rocked it back and forth, I welled up with unexpected tenderness.

I keep thinking of this image for Holy Saturday.
 I keep sensing an invitation to gently lift my soul into my arms and rock it softly back and forth.

Between the crash in the darkness that threw us 
into the night air on Friday to make our ways home in silence, 
and the trumpet fanfare that draws us back 
into the warmth and light of Sunday morning,
is there something deep within your soul, 
in the dark corners you haven't swept in a very, very long time,
that wants to rise up and be cradled today? 


"It is finished."

It simply does not get worse than yesterday.
The world has ended.

And then there was evening and there was morning. The second day. 
Today is the day after the worst day of all.

Yesterday happened.
We are stripped of illusions now.
We have stared evil in the eyes, and it has won.
It's ok to lay down and curl in on yourself for a little while. 
It's ok not to be vigilant today. 

Today is the day of not knowing and not doing.
It's ok not to know. It's ok to just be.

This is a day for silent shock and hushed sorrow. 
It's a day for heaviness, and slowness, 
and not talking too much, or too loudly.
This is a day to tread tenderly on the earth, 
to respect the pain that each one bears,
to be gentle with yourself, 
and cautious with each other.
To eat simply and sleep hungrily, 
and leave the lights and your shoes off.
It's a day to wake up to the shocking four inches of new snow and the blustery wind, 
and think, Yeah. That feels about right.

Between the Friday and the Sunday came a sabbath day.
The greatest drama of all creation and eternity
for the day of remembering God is God and we are not, 
in an inconvenient
and even ironic,
place in the story.
It stops at the absence of God from the earth; 
the death of it all; 
the day after the worst day. 
And it stays here a bit.

Sometimes sabbath is for keening.

After the worst day of all comes the day of nothing left to lose.

So rest in the gaping hole of today. 
It's ok to pause here; (God did). It cannot swallow you whole.
It's ok to stop and not look ahead.

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