Of all the holy days, today speaks most to my spirit and my soul.
This day, Holy Saturday. This day remembers the struggle, the holding on and letting go of waiting. This day embodies what it feels like in the empty time of not-yet-knowing and holds the place of perhaps never really knowing at all.
Our story tells us that today we live into the despair/hope, the pleading/praying, the angst/not yet of our deepest believing and of our faith. Was it just yesterday we watched love crucified on the cross? Was it just yesterday morning that we were able to wake up believing we were on our life path (believing that there was a life path) to follow all of our days. Yesterday has come / gone and now our world has turned upside-down. At yesterday's end, when we finally found a place to lay our heads, what we found felt like the sleep of death.
And somehow this morning dawned. And somehow we managed to rise up.
We’ve all lived Holy Saturday days. Learning of a medical test result, the ending of a relationship, the firing from a job we loved. I remember sitting at a red light at the corner of LaVista and N. Druid Hills after learning of Mom’s diagnosis of cancer, and banging on the steering wheel. Broken promises, broken bodies, broken dreams. It’s as though what was up is now down, what was right is now so wrong, what was trusted is now lost.
Centuries ago those women and men stepped out in faith. For them it must have been a time of unimaginable anguish grasping for their most previos hope. And yet. And yet they persisted. Perhaps they held one another and prayed, “Our Father who art in heaven…” Perhaps they sang songs they’d sung their whole lives. Perhaps they leaned in and dared to whisper, “Remember when he said…?” “Remember when he told us, encouraged us?” “Remember when he laughed?” “Remember when he cried?”
And it can be just like that for us. This Holy Saturday.
This day wills us to get up, to rise up. This day bears witness to our struggles, to our fears and tremblings. This day knows, deeply knows of our wilderness wandering. This Holy Saturday lives out the hesed (lovingkindness) our our faith - the hesed of not giving out or giving up. This day reminds us that even through the longest, darkest night - it is our work, it is our practice to look for the dawn to come. Even if, especially when we can’t imagine how, we wait for the dawn to come, the light to shine again. And when it does come - we rise up, say our morning prayers and we live into what is next.
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Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.