When I spend time in gardens (reflecting and pulling weeds), I learn something. Last night, as I revisited, in my heart, the garden of Gethsemane with Jesus, I also expected to learn something new. I’m consistently blessed that way on Holy Thursday and so grateful for the time of meditation and adoration with our Lord.
First of all, as happens each year, a former student slipped into the seat next to me. He is a man in his fourth year of University now, but at the time that he was my student, he was in grade seven. Every Holy Thursday since that year, we’ve taken pause together, with gratitude for the Son of Man. Last year we missed one another because I had slipped out to go home and return in my track pants and comfie clothes…but, apart from that, we’ve connected each year to pray that ‘one hour’ in the garden with our Lord.
All of that wonder aside, what did I learn in the garden? I was really focused on how I felt, sitting and kneeling and sitting again. I mean, I was exploring how my head was hurting and my eyes were weary. I knew that when I knelt, my knees were sore and when I slumped, my back was sore. I just couldn’t get comfortable…but I remained, struggling to be with our Lord. I contemplated his passion. I had tears at times. I wrote a little, in order not to lose focus. My mind wandered about my children…the loss of my mother…the sounds of people entering into and leaving the space.
And then I entered into my lesson. I moved away from thinking about the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus, but really focused on his time in the garden. I know that he likely experienced the same sort of physical discomfort in his body as I did. As well as experiencing huge fear and anxiety around the events that were to come, I know that he must have felt so weary! I know that before the first kiss of betrayal…the humiliation…the abandonment by his friends, he would have ALREADY felt exhausted. So much more ahead for him…all the way to the cross, but without rest, refreshment or shelter of any kind. I guess I learned about the humanity of Jesus even more last night. I felt sad for him and truly wondered how he endured so much for the sake of people like me…for all of us.
I know. I know. Most of my readers may not be on the same page as me on any of this…but, this afternoon, as I head over for the observance of Good Friday, I claim the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I spill over with humble gratitude for all of his discomfort for the sake of our salvation. I claim his love.