March 21, 2008


A Good Friday meditation on John 19:42

Pardon us, patron of Arimathea, companion
of Jesus. We did not mean to trail on your
heels, intrude upon your generous committal.

Truth be told, we have all followed you down
this garden route, traced your secret path
down to this newly-hewn vault. Why? We’ve

heard tell of a given space for laying his body
down, and, well, it would mean a great deal
to us if we might take a look. We propose no

disrespect. We are not voyeurs, not gawkers,
not disinterested spectators. Like you, we are
his people, his lowly band, and we’d hoped to

see for ourselves this place of his resting.
What’s more, we’re hoping it is a generous
space, with plenty of corners for storing a few

items. What’s that you say? What are these
things we are carrying? Indeed. We suppose
these are why we’ve slipped here to find you,

slinking down this trail to his unlikely tomb.
You see, we’ve brought a few things with us,
some items we have cleaned out of our lives.

Most of it is junk, really. Tokens of our past,
little reminders of all the failures and fears,
deeds and deaths, sins and sorrows we sadly

cannot seem to throw away. Once we started
to dig into our cupboards, our many secret
places, we discovered buried there more than

we could really manage. These are all parts
of our stories that have no life in them, large
pieces of our lives that have languished in us.

We’d like to know if we can store these things
here, with him. We’d like to ask if we might
bury these matters alongside him, if of course

there is any extra room at all. Why here, why
now? Well, call us crazy, but we have in our
heads this strange notion: If ever there was a

place where this old junk could be put to use,
if there was ever a chance that this hopeless
stuff might be rectified, renewed, reborn—

surely it would be here, with him, today.