Calm at the Center of the Storm

One stop on the road to enlightenment, or so I’m told, is when we can be an internal witness to our thoughts, disengaged from them, simply watching them go by. We neither want them nor hold them. We are indifferent.

Something like that sometimes happens to me, usually in social situations. I feel disengaged from my body. I am fully aware, yet I see myself as witness to the conversations and activities surrounding me. I feel in a sense invisible, able to just watch the action.

I’ve been feeling that a lot these last couple of days as regards the mass readings leading up to the crucifixion. I can see in my mind’s eye that time of long ago, after Jesus had entered Jerusalem. The messengers running through the street to inform the Sanhedrin that “he is here.”  The flurry of meetings, discussions, and decisions.

The streets were awash with talk. “He is here.”


“You know, Jesus of Nazareth, the healer, the one some call the Messiah.”

“Where is he?”

“No one knows, he’s disappeared somewhere in the city.”

Arguments ensue between those who follow the Master and those who don’t. Rumors are rampant.

Depending on which story you attend to, Judas is going through a crisis of his own. Jesus has not turned out to be what Judas expected. There are whispers among the disciples, arguments even. Some were against this entry into the city, some were fearful. Others were simply confused. Some trusted the Master’s decision.

Jesus, remains the calm center as all about him is arush with all this confusion. He sees the fear in the eyes of Peter, the anger in Judas eyes. His mother is quiet as is Mary the Magdala. They tend to the preparation of the rooms where they are staying. Hauling water, setting up bedding.

The Roman soldiers are on high alert. They’ve been told that there is unrest, arguing, meetings, and groups gathering around the Temple. They have heard of this itinerant preacher who is causing dissention among the Jews. The Pharisees are speaking out in the Temple and  around the city. Crowds listen, some cheering and others jeering. The soldiers are nervous.

Jesus is aware of all of it. And he knows how it will end. He cannot and would not stop it if he could. It must be this way. They must see this new way of God, and the only way is this way. This perfect and complete offering of self–only this will jar them out of their complacency.

Jesus is the calm within the maelstrom, all moving inexorably toward this one apex of exquisite pain and offering.

I can sit and see it all. And somehow there is comfort in it all. Somehow there is. I sit in the calm with my Lord.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 14:49:12

    Sherry, you have enabled all of us to “sit and see it all”–thank you!

    Last night at Bible study, we were talking about the upcoming Maundy Thursday service, etc. And someone said, “It’s a weighty service… but essential.” Finding this here reminds me how the weight of the mounting storm must be starting to be felt in very real, yet often unanticipated ways. Where this is headed must be becoming more overt–looks are being exchanged, whispers heard, etc. And while Jesus sees what’s ahead (as you say), the tension on the disciples, the establishment, and the city itself is rising. How right you are: Jerusalem is a pressure cooker due to explode at any moment. Another reminder of the grace that somehow crafts such beauty and assurance out of such ugly uncertainty.

    Thank you for this–for all that you’ve done so faithfully and splendidly to guide us through this Lent!



    • Sherry
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 12:08:39

      Tim, it has been my pleasure, and my honor to keep up this Lenten exercise. I have learned more than anyone I think. This week has been especially difficult to do, and I think I may end Thurday. What on earth can one say about Good Friday that hasn’t been said. I’m so glad you are feeling better, and so glad you’ve got back to your usual posting. They are so precious to me.


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