I suck at waiting. I get restless and I have a hard time really getting into any task meant to fill out the time. It’s absurd – normally, I’m ridiculously good at wasting time, but when it comes to time that just needs to pass I spend it in low grade agitation.
But I am waiting for something that I know will happen. Like waiting for the sunrise. Like waiting for a show to start. It’s going to happen. Just give it the proper amount of time.
I wonder how they waited. They were following an obligation. Give it a few days, make sure no graverobbers came by. Sometimes, in some places there was a kind of a wake to make sure the person they thought was dead wasn’t just sleeping one off. But crucifixion, stabbing, the whipping and the crowning with thorns… No. He wasn’t going to be coming out of his grave. So it was just duty. Tradition.
I mean, maybe someone was thinking resurrection…but I don’t think the guards were. Mary definitely wasn’t when she went to anoint the body, and you couldn’t find a more loyal, faithful, dedicated person among the apostles.
We’re supposed to keep hopeful. And it helps that while they thought they were just filling out the last sad paragraph of a strange story, we know that there’s another chapter and then more besides. There’s a twist to the story so we don’t feel as bereft as people who just lost their friend normally would.
But we still have to wait. And while we wait we’re not supposed to let doubt and general crankiness get in the way of hope. Doubt creeps in though, drifts in under the door, presses in on the shadows. It’s not like I wonder if the sun will rise again, I know it will. But… just…what difference does it make? What does it matter if I wait or not?
The world brings in no shortage of assaults on the idea of waiting, of witnessing. The bigger world tends to find the observances that keep a person from having fun as dumb, if not oppressive. And well, yeah, they are, but the point is there is a time when oppressing the self, making oneself be quiet and restraining one’s impulses – just for a little while – can be very useful, very focusing. But those who have no use for this stillness sometimes like to give voice to their disdain. I know, I’ve chosen to “friend” them on facebook.
And now there’s another dimension to the patience I have to ask of myself. Because I wasn’t already fidgeting enough.
Are we there yet?
How ’bout now?