Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Juarez Reflection: To Kneel in the Darkest Place

Breathless, the two men meet eyes. Hesitant to do the inevitable, they stand for a second, allowing the sweat to drip slowly down their beards. “Who will it be” – each wonders. Will the beloved disciple lay it all on the line to enter the tomb on the Sabbath even though both know it is forbidden, or will Peter, the ardent Jew, seek to redeem is past betrayal, by diving headlong into discrepancy with his faith? Perhaps to his shame, John admits that though he had clearly beaten the dogmatic Peter to the tomb, it was not he who could over come the presets of his faith and embrace fully his love for the Rabbi he had devoted himself to these last years. It was not he, who was loved, that could find himself justified enough before the bloodied throne of grace to kneel in the darkness and receive the light; he could not strike the pharisaic voice enough to embrace the true priest; he could not follow his king into the darkness.

At times, I watch the setting sun casts its rays beyond the sierra mountains of Juarez, and as the dwindling rays wrap slowly and diminishingly past the decrepit cross set high upon the building of one ministry here, I envision the days light setting solely upon myself, blanketing me in a shroud of complete night. Here, in my mind, I kneel at the slab in the tomb where my fallen king had once lain beaten and dead. His blood trickles on the floor near me, and I can see nothing for the darkest place is here. I can feel the torment of my being as it stands toe to toe with the very presence of evil – the very presence of death. Yet, upon me comes the greatest hope, for though my nemesis, darkness, stands my opposite, within dawns the light of life; from my interior comes the everlasting morning; from inside begins the never-ending day.

And as I am taken back to the rising coldness of night and the descending sun of Mexico, I wonder if I will follow merely because I love Him even when it makes no religious sense; even at the sake of conformity; even when it leads to the grave. I wonder if I can know this light that can reach the furthest corner of Tartarus – this light that would allow me to stand in the presence of God even when I kneel in the darkest place imaginable.

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