Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday

Waking From A Dream

I must have dozed off.  As I start to awaken, I wonder if I are still dreaming.  This is not 2010.  Who are these people?  What is this room?  But, as I look around, I see someone I do recognize.  Not that he looks familiar, but He feels familiar.  I watch, knowingly, as He takes off His outer garments, and wraps a towel around his waist.

He is approaching me with a bowl of water, and as he stoops in front of me, he looks deep into my eyes, and calls me by name.  He says to me: "Peter."  Am I dreaming still?  This cannot be happening.  I am at the Last Supper with my Lord, Jesus.  How can this be?  I want to say: "No, you've got the wrong guy.  I'm not Peter.  I'm . . ."  But even the thought gets caught in my throat with the words I want to say.  I realise in an instant that I am Peter, yet I am not.

I say to Him: “Master, are you going to wash my feet?”  He looks at me still with that look I know He has given me so many times these last few years, a look of love so deep that I can see His heart, and I am afraid that He will see mine, and know that I am not Peter.  I am me, but I am he, Peter as well.

He says to me words that go to my very core: “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”  Suddenly, I feel myself grow angry in an instant.  I am thinking that He is My Lord, and how can I let Him wash my feet, me a sinner, Him, God made man.

I see these words form on my lips and then I say to Him: “You will never wash my feet.”  His piercing eyes have never left mine, though I have tried to avert my gaze from them.  He sees right through my stubbornness and says back to me: “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”  

That wakes me up more.  I know Him, and who he really is, and I know about the kingdom of heaven, and I hear myself blurt out: “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”

He speaks again, but I am lost in the touch of his hands on my feet, as he pours some water on them, and wipes the dust and dirt from the road away.  My Lord has washed my feet.  As he washes the others, I have a moment to gather my thoughts.

I do not know how this has happened, but I am here, and I am Simon Peter.  Yet, I am not Peter.  I am me.  I pinch myself.  I am awake.  I am not in my own clothes, but I am in my clothes.  Yet, I feel what Peter feels, and speak words that he is thinking, and they are my words, my thoughts.  I have read this story many times, and heard it many more.  But, I am here in the midst of it.  How can this be?

A few times, as He washes the feet of the others, He looks lovingly at me, like we both know that I'm not really Peter, but I am really Peter.  His look of love overcomes my fear, and so I calm myself.

As he sits back down after washing our feet, He tells us that one of us will betray Him.  I hear voices chime in, "Surely not I Lord."  One of those voices is mine.  I feel the fear that Peter feels.  I feel his outrage.  It is mine, that someone would betray this man, Jesus, who "I" have followed these last few years, listened to, watched perform miracles.  He is the Son of God.

As I am near the end of the table, I turn to Andrew beside me, and ask him where Judas is going.  He says that he doesn't know, probably just running an errand for the Lord.  

In my heart, I know where he is going, and I know what is coming.

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