Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maundy Thursday

It's only 20 minutes or so until midnight, and I'm sitting propped in bed, with the full moon peeking at me between the gap in my blind and the edge of my window.

Maundy Thursday.

I worked a full day today.

And then joined my friend Faye and her boyfriend at a Maundy Thursday dinner she'd read about. Turns out it was a rather small gathering, and we were definitely the only strangers in the bunch.

But that was okay.

The small rituals made it unique. Washing each other's hands before eating. Sharing communion prior to the meal with friends and strangers around the table. The bread of life. The cup of abundance. Their words to go with an ages old ritual.

We joined them upstairs, to walk through some reflections, light candles, and walk a prayer labyrinth carefully laid out. A slow walk, to the center, then back out. This is a method of prayer I'd like to experience again in the future, when I'm a bit less exhausted, and have had time to quiet my heart enough to truly pray. And yet, even with a heart that was broken, exhausted, and oh so distracted, there were moments when I sensed Jesus speaking, or at least drawing nearer as I walked.

After the labyrinth, the three of us walked along the river, and a ridge overlooking downtown, winding our way back through China town (stopping for spring rolls and bubble tea) and eventually back to our vehicles.

But mostly, these days, on Maundy Thursday I think of blood shed. The words of the communion ritual we commemorate, and I think of how, my baby brother T. had the bone in his wrist shortened last year on Maundy Thursday. That's his scarred wrist pictured above. A week from tomorrow he will have his third surgery in as many years, this time to remove the screws and plates put in place during last year's surgery. They are irritating the tendons, and it remains impossible to tell if the last surgery successfully solved his condition.

And so, on this Maundy Thursday, I find myself thinking again of T. and of blood shed. Of the need for healing. Of a body broken and blood poured out that healing might be offered. And the tiny parts of my heart that cling to the hope for a miracle are crying out again for healing for oh so many.