This is my first "real" Good Friday as a pastor -- last year our worshiping community was gathering for meals every other week while we looked for space, so we weren't actually worshiping together then. I did preach at HappyChurch for their Good Friday service, but that was it. I didn't even go to church on Easter (I refused, in fact...so not in a good place spiritually this time last year).
Anyway -- I had an acupuncture treatment on Wednesday, after a 2 month hiatus. I woke up yesterday feeling beat up from the inside out, and emotionally shaky. She warned me, my acupuncturist, that the last needle, if we placed it, was likely to release a lot of emotions, and she was right.
No coincidence that that needle was placed right at the base of my right thumb, just under where the handcuff cut and is still painful. When she placed it a huge wave a grief washed over me.
A little Renée Fleming on my mp3 player consoled me.
So today, still felt quite shaky. I said to a friend that it felt like I was white-water rafting on the inside -- just trying to ride out this release, trust that it's going somewhere. And yet, I needed to be present with quite a few folks, in different ways, today. So, for all the drives around town, I brought the "hermitage mix" of music and sang along, and practiced breathing, and tried to see the spring flowers with the delight of the two-year-old I was with.
In the evening, was our Good Friday vigil. We held vigil outside the immigrant detention facility that is only a few miles from where we worship. We read the passion narrative, sang Taizé chants, and offered poetry of hope to those detained and words of challenge to the guards to repent and ask forgiveness for their participation in this violation of God's image. For this we read the words of Oscar Romero.
Well, I read them (my cielo read them in Spanish). And I also challenged them again with the call to repentance as we ended. We could see them, a few were standing outside, and it seemed like they were listening (even if only to scoff later, who knows, but still).
My cielo said she was in awe of me, that I was so bold in what I said. I don't know about that, I barely remember what I said; what I do know is that when I was speaking (my cielo said I was evangelizing...even on Good Friday there is the opportunity to turn away from Empire and chose again to walk God's path of justice and love), for a brief moment who I saw were my own guards, who had jailed me. It got a little messy, inside.
I can feel it in my body -- holding that sacred space on the sidewalk, dealing with the guard who came out to tell us to move (or they'd call the police...we moved to the sidewalk across the street), watching the guards watch us, trying to speak and sing loud enough so the folks detained inside and the guards could hear us, watching the police drive by twice, windows rolled down, observing us (so, the guards had called them anyway). My body is tired, and sore. And my arm, it aches.
So the plan is for some immersion therapy: tonight, sleep. Tomorrow, the fabulous Verdi opera Aida, live from the Met, which will be good for several hours of opera therapy. Errands and a movie in the evening with my cielo (either "Up," or a Kiri Te Kanawa-led Der Rosenkavalier, whatever we're in the mood for. There may or may not be some goat therapy, as well. At any rate, it will be a Holy Saturday of some self-care time, and some cielo time.
And then, we shall see what Sunday shall bring...