He opened his eyes, just enough to squint, and tried to prepare his mind for the reality that would hit him soon after waking. He could still feel the heat on his hands from the fire just hours before. Over and over again he heard the sound of the rooster crowing, as those moments of his memory clung to him, like reckless children who refused to accept that their time of rest had come.
"Aren't you one of them?"
"Surely you were with him!"
"Don't you know this man?"
He sat up, as the moments of the last 24 hours flooded his conscience without mercy.
He is dead.
Yet he could still remember those words, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. If you believe in God also believe in me."
He is really dead.
Yet, he could feel the coolness of the water on his feet as they were being washed, the roughness of the bread on his tongue, the sweet bitterness of the wine..."Do this in remembrance of me."
And now, he is dead.
He took a deep breath, and tried to hold onto the scent of his beloved; to bury himself in his garments as he once did, head to bosom, listening to the heartbeat and breath of the one who had the words of life. But now, he is dead. And there only remained the stench of blood and ripped flesh and the cry of being forsaken. Peter felt the bitterness suddenly rush to the back of his throat, and barely made it out of his bed in time. Afterward he rinsed his mouth, threw water on his face and wept.
I am Peter. Heartbroken. Guilt Ridden. Devastated. I know what it's like to put your hope in something, only to have it ripped from you. I know what it's like to be human, to abandon a friend in their time of need. To think I have it figured out only to see that I was oh so wrong.
Many people call today Holy Saturday: the day that Jesus is dead. Many believe that he descended into hell to release the captives during this time. I call today Shitty Saturday, also because Jesus is dead. I think about the things I've lost; things I've put my hope in, things I thought would be my ticket out only to find that they weren't what I thought they were.
Today is also a day that reminds me of what the world would look like if God was dead. More often than not, I imagine it to look like it does now. I struggle with the darkness that seems to persist. I cry out like the Psalmist in Psalm 22. "Why have you forsaken me!?"
I sit. I allow this moment to sink in so that I don't take the next one for granted.
Today is Holy not because we can easily move into tomorrow. It's not only Holy because even its deepest and darkest moment is not the end. The shitty moment is holy because it shapes us. It is Holy because we sit in it, not because we breeze right through it.
I am still figuring out what it means to sit in darkness. It is uncomfortable, but I refuse to pretend like it does not exist.