Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

I came home from church today feeling overwhelmed. I had difficulty talking when Nguyen asked how things went at an after-church meeting.

It felt like too much had gone on in too short a time.

First, before the service, an intense conversation with one of the Sunday School teachers. It was one of those "lets find a private place" kind of conversations which sometimes leave me feeling drained.

Then the service itself.

I still cannot look at a shrouded cross without feeling, I don't know, sick in my heart. Like I want to get on my knees, or lie flat out on the floor and just be in the joy and pain of what is coming. Holy Week is such an intense time.

The parade with palms around the Nave was amazing. 225 people carrying palms, waving and singing, playing drums and other percussion instruments, countered by the choir who was singing an ancient Gregorian sounding hymn that has probably been sung on Palm Sunday for centuries. The crazy, joyful exuberance before the truth of it: Those same people who waved their palms and shouted 'hosanna' were calling for Jesus' execution just a few days later.

And it is us.

Later, having a conversation with a friend, he seemed deeply agitated. But it was that good kind of agitated. The Holy Spirit kicking your ass, making you feel like you can't contain yourself within your own skin, busting loose and don't know what to do with it kind of feeling. It is glorious and scary and amazing all at once because you know, don't you, that it is so unbelievably true and anyone who says it is just endorphins is full of shit. It is, in fact, the truest truth there is.

There, I said it.

I recognize that feeling. Maybe feel a little wistful, even, because it has been awhile since I felt like that. Good God Almighty it is amazing to be stuffed full of the Holy Spirit. And even when you catch a little of the overflow from someone else's busting open, it can leave you a little tired.

So I am tired.

Like I want to lay down in my Beloved's arms
and rest for awhile.


Mary Beth said...

I, too, find Palm Sunday and Holy Week so very hard to withstand. I am grateful for your words and your honesty!

I took about a 4 hour nap yesterday afternoon. My husband doesn't really understand how or why a church service affects me so deeply. He says, "you must be an empath." Maybe so.

praying for you as we walk this path together, and especially with the 2 funerals you have this week.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Mary Beth,

Maybe there is some easy explanation for why this is so grueling. Some professor somewhere is probably cooking up a reasonable way of looking at it.

But to me, it feels like the distance between us and the events is gone. We are not commemorating anything. We are experiencing it.

And my first reaction to stress or grief of any kind is sleep. So the 4 hour nap sounds altogether reasonable to me.

I remember my first Holy Week, I walked around in a complete daze wondering how anyone could function at all with all this going on. I still feel that way, a little. Like how can one live their regular lives when the passion is moving just under the surface of your existence.

My prayers are with you, too, sister, as we walk the road to Jerusalem together.


Mary Beth said...

Thanks for your comment at my place. I'll be doing the Thursday night/Friday morning vigil from 5-6 am CST, so if you are up for yours earlier...please pray that I make it!

One year I overslept my vigil hour! What a horrible feeling. Peter all over again!

I was forgiven, natch.


mary beth

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Oh, how awful!

This year I was thinking of bringing a little blanket.

But then again, maybe not, LOL.

And yeah, I should be there earlier. Right now I am scheduled from 10pm to midnight. I'll send up a prayer for you.