Friday, April 2, 2021

Katie Snipes Lancaster

Word:
She died after a short illness; she died
after a long, difficult illness while
daydreaming and watching cartoons;
she died after a lingering, lovely
paralysis, a fading; she died tumbling
onto a crosswalk, where she had the
right of way; she died in her sleep;
she died in an MRI blissfully
insulated from further harassment;
she died singing Mercy, she died with
nary a sound; she died forgiving no
one, she died forgiving everyone; she
died, a splendid nude, dancing in
moonlight; she died at daybreak,
observed by a cat; she died speaking
in tongues——some called it mumbling.
—Lisa Bellamy, “Obit”

Reflection and Blessing:
We will fall silent. Tomorrow, wordless. Today, Good Friday, the only word is “It is finished.” We let our sacred story speak above and beyond and within our own wordlessness, our own grief, our own sense of “how did it come to this?” Much remains unresolved. That is the way of Good Friday. Unknowing. Sorrow. Darkness and shadow. And then, the silence of Saturday is that much more unsettling. There is no other way. We cannot skip this step. It is the way of the cross. Without it, the empty tomb is nothingness, a nonevent. The only way is through. And so, today, we pray:

On this day when Jesus died,
On this day in which death is real,
On this day in which we cannot deny our mortality,
Let us sit with you
You who knows human pain
You who knows death
You who knows even death on a cross.
Sit with us.
Amen.