“I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes — it has also gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbours stand far off.” (Ps 38:8-11, NRSV)
I believe in God, even when I can’t find him.
A writer once asked why it matters how a man falls down. And the reply comes: “When the fall is all that’s left, it matters a great deal.”
He’s had a long week. It’s been a busy week and an emotional week — and it’s not done yet. He had barely come down from the high of the party on Sunday before it all went to hell in a handbasket. He didn’t sleep last night. He hasn’t eaten today. His reserves are all gone. His face is pressed into the dust. His hands are bruised and bloody. He would weep, but there are no tears left. And he gets back up.
That is the narrative of Holy Week.
It’s an old familiar story. For those of us who have gone through a Holy Week and a Triduum before, it’s a story that we remember not just for its words but for the sweat on our faces and the ache deep down in our bones and the sense memory of breathing, hard, into cold tile in the dark, our temples destroyed around us. Our reserves are gone, too, but still we keep going.
God of our darkest places, reach out to us in the depths of our grief.
As we call to mind your Son, fallen three times on the road,
we pray for those who feel that their despair has not been heard.
For those who cannot see the way out.
For the lost.
For the broken.
For the scared.
And we look for your light in that darkness.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.