"It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land, until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the curtain of the temple was torn in the middle, and Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, 'Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.' And having said this, he expired." --Luke 23. 44-46
It looked like you had come to the end. Death is like that. You watched and waited and prayed and hoped. Yet--none of these seemed to matter. Death came. And you just stood there, hugging one another or walking down that terribly darkened silent hall. There was nothing that you could say. Holy moments are like that. You just put your hand over your mouth and stand there in shock.
And nothing seemed to matter except they're gone-- out of sight to someplace never to return. And so you turned and went home to an empty house. And your mind swirled--there was so much to do. So many people to call. Plans to be made.
But you sat quietly on the couch with your hand over your mouth--still in shock. But somehow life went on. Not the same. Not ever the same. Not ever. But you got up slowly from the couch and began to do what you had to do.
It wasn't the end, really. That was Friday a day you would always remember. And year after year on that sad day there would be an ache and you would remember and remember and remember.
Death came that Friday afternoon. And you thought it was all over. For there was a dark Saturday to stumble through, followed by a bright, sunshiny day. It hurt your eyes it was so bright. And the birds sang. And you peered out the window and it was Sunday. And hope welled up slowly in your heart. And you moved on.
Sunday came--despair slowly faded and you knew it really wasn't an end at all. It was a pause. For on Saturday that dark, dark pause that seemed to last forever. And yet--Sunday really did come. And hope crawled back ever so tentatively. And you knew, then that life would always be different. That the old story of the Emmaus Road was not just a story the preacher's tell. It had happened to you. And the Hallelujah Chorus would finally come--but it would be a long time coming.
In loving memory of my friend, Donald Yates 1939-2010 and my cousin, Ray Kelley October 8, 2011
(The contemporary Stations of the Cross are by the work of artist Cecile L.K. Martin, Seneca, South Carolina.
The original Stations can be found in her church, St. Paul the Apostle Church, Seneca, SC)