Husband and I were asked to participate in a series of monologues for our church Good Friday service. We experienced the Passion story through Dr. Marcia McFee’s dramatic script, Poured Out for You. The service was rich with reflective imagery and music. It started with “oil” and the anointing of Christ’s feet, followed by “water” and the symbolic washing of hands, next was “wine” into which Christ dipped the bread for Judas, then “blood” as witnessed by the Roman soldier, Mary’s “tears” were next followed by “light” as one candle was extinguished and another picked up and we were quietly ushered out.
Husband did the monologue of Judas. My monologue was Mary, the mother of Christ, and the words of the monologue follow:
My son. From the moment the angel said to me, “you will bear a son” my life was no longer my own. And yet it was every bit mine. Moments treasured, remembered in my heart alone. Every moment he grew within me. Every day of his youth. Every movement of his ministry from that day at
Cana to this very minute. At times the pain threatened to outweigh the
wonder of this unimaginable life God had given me.
And especially now. Like the blue cloth that you picked up on your way in, the color of Mary, know that in this moment I am not just the mother of Jesus shedding tears for my son. I am the tears of any mother who has seen their child die before them. I am the tears of every mother who has lost children in political warfare and oppression. I am the tears of all loved ones who cannot save their loved ones as they starve, are ravaged by illness or injury, are swept away by tsunami or flood or earthquake or hurricane, or lose their lives to addiction, are consumed by depression or suffer violent ends. And I am the tears of all loved ones who do not know the fate of the missing ones… I am the tears.
Practice as I did, I could not make it through the monologue without tears of my own. Perhaps an explanation is in order.
Two years ago during Holy Week, our son was released from prison. We left Maundy Thursday service early to meet him at the bus station.
Last year, I missed all of Holy Week due to having the lung cancer surgery on April 2nd, which was Maundy Thursday. I was released from the hospital on Easter Sunday. The upside to this is that on Wednesday, as I was still working at the church office, the pastor asked that I meet with him 15 minutes prior to my departure. When I arrived at his office, he stood and said, “Let’s go to the sanctuary.” When we arrived I saw my co-workers and the two associate pastors! I was more than surprised. They were having an “anointing” service for my health, followed by prayer. I was humbled by this act, so very humbled. My eyes still well up with tears as I recall this event.
That brings us to now. Yes, now. We recently became aware our son, who hasn’t seen or visited with us for a year is involved in illicit activities, which may again land him in prison. With this recent knowledge, reading the above monologue became all the more personal for me. It spoke to my heart and soul. It also spoke to many others of our congregation as I saw their tears, too.
A pictorial statement posted on Facebook simply said, “Holy Saturday: Rest well, indeed. For tomorrow there is work to be done and a grave to be conquered.” ~Author Unknown
With the forty days of Lent that lead us to the cross and the victory of the tomb, Friday and Saturday do indeed seem as bleak as the dark night of the soul. Yet to those of us who are believers, Sunday comes with a resounding breaking of the sun and an empty tomb! Alleluia!
May you be blessed.