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The second day

by davesandel on April 16th, 2019

The second day

Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16, 2019

Jesus said to Peter, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”

– From John 13


I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord. I am made glorious in his sight, and my God is now my strength!

– From Isaiah 49

This is the second day of the three days before the fall towards hell, before the passing of the wine and bread, before the garden, before the cross.

Before the silence of the tomb.

Please, Jesus, this is the day to consider how to GET OUT OF HERE!

Everything is quiet on this Tuesday in Jerusalem, but I can feel the water heating, simmering and ready to receive you, ready to boil you, ready to kill you, Jesus.

Jesus, aren’t you just like me? Don’t you want to leave?

*           *           *

In a group discussion of the Enneagram, we got to Sevens. They always see the bright side of life. In any painful situation they are the quickest to find the silver lining. In their charismatic natural-child-enthusiasm they are persuasive and encouraging. Come away with me!

On the Enneagram, we identify with descriptions of numbers One through Nine. A bit earlier when our facilitator, Ruth, asked who might be a famous Two, my friend David smiled and exclaimed, “Jesus!” His eyes sparkled, his face was bright. Everyone laughed.

I’m a Seven, David’s a Two. We both claim Jesus.

Since Sevens hate pain we refuse to be trapped. I’m always planning my escape, looking to secure my future and forgetting to enjoy the present. Live in the moment, sure, but sit in the back row, aisle seat, near the door. Lean back just a little so I can watch for anything that scares me, bores me, or that I can’t control. Choose the shortest line, of course.

This “freedom” is elusive; it slips away so quickly. I claim illegitimate independence from every kind of schedule or confinement, but no matter. I get caught anyway, and then when faced with this supposed pain, I must choose to disappear into myself, or stay and learn to live.

Jesus? Well, actually, he’s the one who helps me choose to live. His words for me are almost always, “Let me love you, David. There’s no hurry here.” What I feel trapped by will become my blessing. Let it be.

*           *           *

We all sit with Jesus, dozing, out of the midday sun. He has told us over and over again: stay and learn to live. Die and be reborn. Choose to be last, and you will become the first. Give and give and give some more, and you will be given TO, a full measure shaken down, pressed in. You don’t need to get ahead of me. Be still, and let me lead. I’m the Maker, you’re the made. Your creativity comes from your Creator, who makes you who you are.

I forget. Something in me still screams in fear. You’re the Jesus that I’ve looked for, come with me and escape! Don’t let this awful week begin. Jesus seems to hear my thoughts, as he always does. He just shakes his head. No, we’ll stay. We’ll let our Father be in charge. This dance has just begun.

It’s OK, he says, to take a breath and then another, feel your heart beating out of your chest and breathe again.

Let’s just see what happens next.

Carry me, Lord, when I fall behind. Search for me, Lord, when I’ve been drawn away. Soothe my anxious heart and lead me in your ways, your everlasting, loving ways.

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