Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rev. Ann Pittman

John 12:27-36 (NRSV) “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah[b] remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

On this Wednesday of Holy Week, the final day before we begin the descent to the grave, before Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, I reflect on the season of #JourneyLent at First Austin, and the mediations of the community.

Also, I reflect on the text; strange, esoteric. Certainly not rooted in logic, in the tangible, in the blood and guts and mire of our world. Nor in the beauty: the aspen trees, the child's giggle, the bluebonnets adorning an otherwise monotonous highway littered with motorcycles and eighteen wheelers. It is somewhere in between, in the waiting, in the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the execution of the cross. It is limbo. It is calling out and hearing only our own echo calling back. It is walking in darkness before the light of Easter comes... if it comes. We know not yet. It is only Wednesday.

In light of all this (of your experiences, poems, drawings and musings, and also the text), here is my offering this Wednesday of Holy Week. 

Cried the Children of Night
by Ann Pittman

Now my soul is troubled: "Save me, save me..."
Before the lungs with water fill
The barrel, temple points
Chests heave, breaks squeal
Droughts deaden 
And war our neighbor kills

Save me before
The lightning flashes,
The thunder roars,
And a cliche is written for the very worst offenses.

You who remains forever, do you remember me?
I heard the voice
The thunder
And the angel;
I heard them all 
Calling your people
All your people
All the ashes and stars and grains of sand
Calling them higher
To a location of light
Where we can see, be healed, and not live in the night.

What shall I say, 
"Oh great voice, thunder, angel - save me from this hour"
This darkness?
This is where I live!
Amidst war crazed people
A racist, sexist, classist clan
Selfish, wicked worlds
Where offerings of niceties and honor burn for freedom's entitlement
This is my incarnation!
My flesh, my blood
My fears, my guilt
My trauma, my joy
My friends, my species
There is nowhere else to go. 

I listened to them tell us beyond death lies only night
More darkness, more sleeping
But I tire of sleeping
I want to be awake
Ashes no more
To live
"Free me from this hour!"
Or at least, dear One, send me light.

We could use a little light.
Save us from this hour,
Will you not?

We need to believe in the light.
Oh great  Light,
We need to see the light.

Rev. Ann Catherine Pittman is a freelance writer, actor and itinerant preacher. She spends her time oscillating between Colorado and Texas working in the arts. She is also the interim Artistic Director for First Austin’s Trinity Street Players. Learn more at her website or follow her author page on Facebook.


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