Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maundy Thursday-Via Peter

This day has been a blessing.
This evening a nightmare.

On Sunday, we saw throngs
throwing themselves at his feet.
Calling out to him.
Blessing him. Loving him. Adoring him in awe.

This night, a much quieter occasion.
A small gathering with intimate friends. Just a few of us.
Wine, hors d'oeuvres, relaxing around the table.
The way it's always meant to be.

But then, my friend hands around some bread. Some wine. He seems eager to share it with us. He has this look in his eye that dares me not to take it. 
He speaks as though he's giving us himself through this ordinary snack.

I have no choice but to take it.  

Then he claims one of us will, betray him.
He claims I will deny having ever known him.
Frantically, I grab his hand.
Never, I say.
We all assure him. This will never happen.
After all, we’ve just spent that last 3 years following him around, listening to him, teaching others about what he has to say.
We’ve put a lot of stock into this guy.

He's every bit of hope we have.

And though he says some crazy things, 
I’m usually inclined to believe him.
But this?
He's mistaken. 
To deny him? My best friend? My teacher? It can't happen. It won't. We won't let it. I won’t let it.

And to hear of him being betrayed by another one of us? One who has shared in our victories and woes?
Surely this cannot be. 
He’s all we have. 
We would follow him to the grave.

After dinner, he invites just a few for a walk. Me. The Thundering Brothers. A small intimate circle.
A heaviness seems to be upon him. His shoulders are slumped with despair. 
I’ve seen him carry burden before.
But this, this is something more. It’s something different. Something bigger and much more terrifying.

He begs us to stay with him. It's getting late. The moon is high and full now.
You can see how much he wants us to be there.
“Please,” he says. “Just stay with me, here, tonight, when I need my friends most.”

He wanders off.

He has a tendency to do that.

I hear him, just over there, on the other side of the bushes,
mumbling something, through weeping. Through tears.
something about passing the cup.

But the wine

It's effect is strong.

And the hour is late.

I’ll close my eyes





His hands grab my shoulder. I’m jostled awake.
The brothers are rubbing their eyes, coming to as well.

He seems pissed. 

And hurt. 

I feel awful. I am a jerk.
All he wanted was for us to be with him in this secret moment of sorting out the heaviness.
And I feel asleep.

"You couldn't even make it an hour!" His eyes near tears.

What a shitty friend I am.

Falling asleep when he needed us most.
I start to stammer out some words of apology.

But, it's too late.

He cuts me off. Stops me short.
“Sleep later,” he says. His shoulders sink lower. His eyes to the ground. 

“They’re here.”

It’s then that I hear the rattle of armor. The murmur of men.

Here are the guards with shackles and chains.

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