“…and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” ~ Luke 22:44
I clear the dinner plates from the table, pile them into the sink and begin to rinse them off when the crushing weight of remembering hits me again, making my heart thump heavy. In three days my mind will know nothing.
The night before, I lay curled on our bed, weeping, terrible fear smothering reason. I asked John what happens to our souls when we are under anesthesia. He pulled wet ribbons of hair off of my cheeks and said our souls sleep, honey, we just go to sleep so we don’t feel pain.
I stand in front of the sink and watch the water flow down from one rounded plate edge to the next, and I begin to think about Jesus in the garden, praying in the dark hours of the night. He understood exactly how His days in this world would end: “drawing the breath of life amid long drawn-out agony” on a hillside crossbeam, missing great portions of His flesh and most of His blood. In the garden, the knowing of what was to come caused Jesus unbearable suffering, and while His love brothers slept a stone’s throw away, His fear fell down around Him like fat raindrops.
And yet when His prayers were complete, in an act of astonishing self-control, He rose from His knees for a third and final time and turned to face His fate.
I finish the rinsing and file the plates away into the dishwasher. I wash down the kitchen counters in slow circles, the rhythmic motion soothing, and I whisper under my breath, not my will but Thine.