758 Last night I opened the door and looked up into the night sky. ... So calming, so radiant
Day 758: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Last night I opened the door and looked up into the night sky. ... So calming, so grand, so radiant
What was in the mind of Jesus of Nazareth two days before he was to die? His companions thought he was about to miraculously display his celestial power. But Jesus was probably well aware of what would lay ahead. There would be no heavenly thunderbolts, no army of angels. He was to suffer — and it would go on and on.
As my friend Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) once put it, "As long as there is human history, the story of Jesus’ suffering has not yet been fully told." That was Jesus’ destiny. That is our destiny. To be with the people who are suffering.
As his friends were enjoying meals together just outside of Jerusalem, Jesus may have sought solace in the night sky. That is something I recommend that we all do today. One close friend wrote this about a nocturnal walk outside,
From my childhood I remember sitting on our back porch and just gazing at the moon and stars. … Last night I opened the door and looked up into the night sky. ... So calming, so grand, so radiant.
In an instant my perspective changed and all became right in my world. …Tonight I am going to stop trying to make sense of the world and just sit under the stars. …
There is a spot where Jesus supposedly went to find comfort — perhaps he went there at night. Today it is referred to as “Gethsemane.” In Jesus' time it was just a very pleasant grove of olive trees. Like many other people I have been there. The trees are truly ancient.
They may not be the same trees Jesus rested against, but when you wander amongst olive trees you know you are with something that has deep roots in life. That may be a bit romantic, but from where I work all I have to do is look up and see olive trees in front of me. They bring me a sense of hope.
Jesus could not remove all human suffering and neither can any of us, but I like the way that Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) saw it.
If I can stop one Heart breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool the one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in vain.
I will meet you outside tonight . . .