A woman crippled by rheumatoid arthritis has an itch of her back. Unable to move her bended arms, she cannot satisfy the itch. She patiently wait for the itch to go away. Suffering a betrayal in a relationship, wishing it was never such, the pain cripple us from moving on with life. Time becomes a valued friend in the healing process. We can only wait.
Holy Week begins. A week to dwell in waiting with Christ as he waited for the suffering and dying that was coming his way. He humbly accepted, “if this cup cannot pass by without my drinking it, your will be done!” There is a holiness about waiting.
A triumphant entry into Jerusalem suddenly turned to become a gruesome betrayal of a bloody death on a cross. The rhythm of our earthly life share this semblance of triumph contrasting with betrayal, of joys contrasting pains, often not totally within our own control. When the rhythm touches the troughs of sorrow and darkness, it is sometimes fruitless fighting this descend. We can only wait with trust.
When our life descend into darkness, we tend to look to God and ask, “Why?” Often it is life circumstances that resulted in this trough of challenges; God did not impose suffering on us. Often it is a consequence of our own or another’s decision and action. What we do as people affect others around us.
It is not God’s will that a large cross falls across our shoulders but God will accompany us on our earthly journey carrying our crosses. As we have reflected during Lent, Christ will be glorified in our suffering lives as he was in the Samaritan woman, the man born blind and in Lazarus. Christ wants to roll away the stone that entombs us.
By our human nature, we fight and struggle against times we do not want. In our weariness, our faith is challenged. We do not wish to drink from this cup. In anger or in fear, we walk away from faith. The cock crow in our life. “’Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times’. And he went outside and wept bitterly”. In between the tears of bitterness, we realise that the only way to triumph is to wait in holiness.
Self-giving makes waiting holy. Because self-giving is love for others, and hence life-giving. At the end of this Holy Week, Christ will out of love, die on the cross to give his life to all of us. His patient waiting and humble acceptance is glorified.
This Holy Week we join him in this holiness as his humble acceptance joins him to our personal sufferings. As he entered Jerusalem, the donkey carried him toward events which he has no control of in his human state. His life, and what happened was to be a consequence of other man’s decision and action. We pray for this Christ-like humility, “He was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross”, to trust in God and wait patiently as he glorifies our life.
Waiting in holiness. Quiet waiting. We are waiting for the stone to be rolled away. Wait.