Tag Archives: rest

my shards, on resting after a child’s death ..,

20 Jan

first, on a Godly King’s death from 2nd Kings 23…

29 ‘ While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. 30 Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb.’

oh lovely servants, who hold their master’s body … and bless it… care for their King Josiah, who loved Jehovah with all his heart, ( second Kings 23 verse 3 ) and then ….

…then, on to our Lord Jesus, after his crucifixion, after his death… who loved us all to, with, his death, … Jesus, loved by his servants, …

as women who combined their resources to anoint the broken body of Jesus – Luke 23 …

55 ‘The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.’

They, the women, ‘saw the tomb and how his body ( Jesus’ body ) was laid in it.’ They saw a militated, tortured, whipped body. Flesh flayed , peeling away…bloody and almost unrecognisable. A broken body, yet…

and yet, ‘they rested on the Sabbath.’ After seeing their master’s brokenness, they rested.

When my son Joey died in a car mishap in North Carolina, I flew from NYC to Fort Bragg, to pick up his body to return home to NYC.

I went to the funeral home by myself as my wife and Joey’s estranged wife did want to see Joey if, if his body was badly torn. Joey’s commanding officer drove me to the funeral home.

The director was a woman, a mid aged woman, who led me to Joey. The Captain was to wait outside as she, the director and I went in. Before entering I stopped. I was moved to ask a question;

I asked the Director how she had came this profession, this place of solace. In a sense, a tomb. She was the only woman I had ever seen in such a place, as comforter.

She told me how her baby son died in her arms after his birth. She would not be comforted by any. She could stand loud noises, even worship songs at church. Yet, one day in a Roman Catholic Church, as she sat quiet in meditation, she felt God telling her to go and provide comfort to others.

And so she did. One who could not be comforted became a resting place, a comfort for others. She became a giver of peace to the unresting.

And then she grabbed my right arm, not softly, not in strength. Just to stop me. Capturing my eyes in hers, she said,

‘as I was fixing your son’s body, I felt an anger, a hurting leave him. I felt his life’s hurts leaving him…he is at peace.’

I thanked her. And walked in alone. Joey was in a dark wooden coffin. He did not have a mark on his face or any part of his body. The car he was driving too fast could not manage a turn and went down a gulley to a river stream. Knocked unconscious he drowned.

Joey was at rest.

Josiah’s servants, the anointing women at Jesus’ death, the NC Funeral Director, were, are, hands of comfort, hands of healing, a touch of peace.

My shards are moments given to my life. They are memories that cannot leave. yet, they are also hands of thought and comfort.

With me always, my shards will never leave my heart,

I was pieced, but not to a death. I rest as they serve with their touches

My shards are life, my life. And they speak and heal. That which began in pain, ends with memories of meaning.

My shards renew; they love.

They are mine.

epilogue, Lamentations 5

3 Nov
Hamlet with Yorick, his fool

Jeremiah’s lament is the Lord God’s soft voice. It is soft and personal for me. Just me this day. His voice calls to me, and I call back,

19 “You, Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.’

Laments are global, judgemental and overflowing. In their birthings and life nothing else can be. Nothing can be heard or felt; be personal and general; seen or be imagined. Laments exist as ‘whys’ without heard responses,

20 Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?

This is how my, how Jeremiah’s voice speaking as the people in Jerusalem, and how life laments end: with unspoken and unheard and unfelt ‘whys.’ Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ ends with his ‘the rest is silence.”
After speaking all his thoughts, changes, actions and pauses, Hamlet rests in his life, his lament. This is Hamlet’s lament; silence and self- silenced. His overflow has ceased. His rest is silence. He rests.

questioning Jesus, ‘rest’

21 Sep
Andrea Solario (c.1524) Mary Magdalen

Today, 21 September I wish to move deeply into Mark’s gospel by seeing Jesus’ burial from Luke’s narrative. There is a beauty to reading gospel events from different narratives. Questions should be, are raised, yet as one mediates on these queries, answered arise from times with the word. Reading the the word is calling on God, our Lord, to speak, to respond, to answer our spoken and unspoken questions.

So, if an image, a word, a moment in the gospel narrative strikes me, I question it by reading another view of the same event. In this moment I am reading Luke’s description of Jesus’ agony and burial. And I see my Lord telling me, ‘rest.’ Rest.

Luke 22 ‘An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.’ 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

The disciples are not named here except by their emotion: exhausting sorrow. They sleep to no longer feel. Jesus cannot sleep. His sorrow is so richly felt that his sweat is stood of blood. Exhaustion is jest beginning; more of his blood will spill, flow,

Luke 23 55 ‘ The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.’

When I see ‘but’ at the beginning of a sentence, I sit up. A change, a reversal, a new, completing idea is arriving:

the disciples slept due to physical and emotional exhaustion, but the women who saw Jesus’ tortured body rested. How could they rest after seeing his flayed being?

They rested in obedience to the commandment, in obedience to the word .

Rested because they choose to live by the, but, the new way: Thy way is rest; and it will be done.

Luke 10: 42 defines this way to Martha who was anxious and busy in preparing her home while her sister Mary sits at Jesus’

….” but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

The good portion is sitting with the word at Jesus’ feet. This is the ‘but.’ This is what the women have done, they have rested in the shadows of Jesus’ crucifixion death. After preparing his oils, they rest.

Obedient, they sleep.