I haven't been here in a long time. I've been writing words, other words, some secret and some not, and I've been wondering what I have left to offer here. There are days where I feel full, and there are days where I feel empty. I am certain I'm not the only one. I am certain you feel that way, too.
It's Holy Week. I realize this soon after I wake up today. My hands linger on my white bed spread, and this is my favourite spot, this spot where the light shines in. It's not very light today. It feels as though the sky is mourning, and I wonder if it knows who, exactly, it's mourning for.
Holy Week makes me feel smaller than usual. I feel as though I could pull my neck and my arms and my legs right inside of my chest. My lungs are heavy. My head is too. I feel like I should go hide in the dusty corner, yank my shame around me like a blanket and stay there until Sunday.
A few years ago I went to Mass for Good Friday. I attended by myself because I wanted it to be me and Jesus and a few hundred strangers. A hundred people who have no idea about you, and the One who knows every minuscule detail. That was a comforting thought for me. I'd been to Mass a few times, but hadn't ever been to that specific Cathedral. It was beautiful, huge, sweeping across the city, and it seemed like everyone in the world could look up and still be able to see the steeple.
I was mesmerized by the stained glass, and I wished I had arrived early if only to be able to study them closer. Instead I sat and fiddled with my fingertips. I looked at the kneeler in front of me and wondered how many knees had been bent, how many prayers had been uttered. It was immediately reverent, and I felt a lightness sway inside of my chest.
The service was long, and some parts boring, but I stood when I was supposed to stand, and I sat when I was supposed to sit. I tried to repeat what I was supposed to repeat, but most of the time I had no idea what was needed to be said. So I listened. I'm not generally a good listener. Most of the time, I'm content to be listened to. Jesus knows this well.
A few men started to carry a large wooden cross down the middle aisle. They set it down gently, sturdily at the front. One by one, the hundred people stood from their pews and made their way to the Cross. They knelt before it, and I watched as they placed their lips to the wooden bottom. I watched them kiss the Cross.
I started to cry then, because I knew, I knew, I wouldn't be able to. I could never kiss the Cross. My muscles screamed at me to get up and go, to stand in the holy line and press my lips against the Cross of my Jesus. But I willed my body to stay in the suddenly small pew, and it seemed as though it was shrinking beneath me.
My tears increased as they wove their way down my cheeks, and I felt envious of the people around me who didn't feel ashamed, who were forgiven enough to kiss the Cross of their Creator.
I looked down at my lap. Forgive me for my shame. I knew He had. I know He does. I just don't know if I do.
It was engulfing; I thought maybe I could drown beneath it. I think my shame is taking over me and Jesus says be still, it is I, you have nothing to fear. But I am fearful, desperately so, fearful that I am Peter, fearful that I am Judas, fearful that I will deny Him and betray Him and refuse to kiss the foot of His cross.
Father, forgive me, for I don't know what I am doing.
Oh, and He does. This is the Good, Good news: He does.