Watch and Wait

experience HOLY WEEK with Mary Magdalene

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
— William Wordsworth

My heart is breathing Jesus of Nazareth.  In the rhythmic way of a pulse at rest - waiting.

Waiting on edge for Friday, waiting more expectantly for Sunday.  This week is Holy Week and I find my heart just breathing in Jesus steady and deep.  I thought I would join in the celebration of Palm Sunday and praise our King in exaltation, but honestly I didn't.  I thought perhaps I would sink somberly into the days leading toward his death, but I haven't.  Not yet.

In fact, I've been so steady that I haven't written in over a week because I felt I had nothing to encourage us with.  I've been living in lent and even though the grass is ripening and flowers emerging, my heart is just trudging along in the wake of cross, revealing my flaws and unfortunately others as well.  But not in a painful sort of way (that of course has at times been required in the past).

 My God My God - I am all yours.  I only want to be more like Jesus.  Show me where I fail.

And oh My God, I really don't want to see other people's marks - their resistance to your cross - it makes me feel so judgy. 

I want to live this week like Mary Magdalene lived it over 2000 years ago.  She watched and waited.  No particular agenda apart from being with Jesus.  Breathing in Jesus of Nazareth - slow deep breaths.  Smelling the crowds, the dirt, the palms, the animals for sale in the temple. Watching Jesus' hands as he delivers his last sermons, his eyes piercing particular souls, the tables being turned in righteous truth.  Listening to the clink of money as it falls to the ground, children cry, leaders shout, followers argue.  And waiting.  Confused of course, but loyal. Steady.

Confident because she knew where she came from with all her demons haunting and who saved her from the madness.  It mattered not what people thought of her nor where she was going.  All that mattered was being with Jesus. Dead or Alive. 

She watched it all.  The passion, the wine, the blood, the nails. The earth shakes, the curtain rips, the boys leave. Joseph and Nicodemus struggle with the body. The trek to buy linen. The overload of myrhh. The heavy stone. The guard.

The sorrow of Saturday pressing every breath out of her.  Waiting.  One breath at a time.  Let's just get through this day. 

With Sunday's companion the Mary's go back with love.  Panic.  Dropped oils and a race to the boys.  Hearts burn as the race doubles back to the tomb.  Peter and John are ahead, not only are they faster, but this is the third time she runs down the path this morning.  They confirm he is gone and leave.  But not Mary.  She stays and waits.  Watching.  Waiting.  Until he calls her name.

My God My God, My Lord My Lord.  Breath your Spirit into me.  And he did.

Advent is to watch and wait while Lent is to self discover.  May this week be a time of both.

Keep watch!
— Jesus of Nazareth (Mk 13:35)


Photo taken by Natalie Watson


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