Thursday, April 1, 2010
It's Maundy Thursday. Please indulge me. Read no further if anything "churchy" turns you off. This is the day of Holy Week that speaks to me the most. I love the music I was brought up singing on the day of the night of The Last Supper. (That last sentence didn't make sense, but I'm keeping it.)I wanted to write something profound, moving, meaningful. Nothing fits. The name Jackie Barnes is in my head. All that I can think of is the first year I taught school--forever ago. I was 22--so 34 years ago. It was a middle school that had once been an all black school and still carried both the scars and the majesty of that time. We were leaving for Easter break. Jackie Barnes was his name, this 7th grader-black child---very very poor. He was so poor that his house had been condemned. Jackie, his mama and brothers were awaiting a spot in public housing--a huge step up.
But on that Maundy Thursday,Jackie brought me a gift to school---for Easter. He was shy as he shuffled up towards my desk in his attempt to offer this gift without the other kids seeing him. He said he wanted to give me something beautiful because it was Easter---and because he loved me--he said. Jackie presented me with his gift--with quiet ceremony but with great humbled-ness. From behind his back he brought out his present all wrapped up in aluminium foil.
"That's all the wrapping paper we had at home, you see."
"Oh, it's lovely, Jackie. This is exactly the kind of wrapping paper my father uses. It's my favorite wrapping paper in the whole world," I assured him.
Placed inside the heavily crumpled foil were two brocade tassels. The kind you see that hold a pair of draperies back. "These are the most beautiful things we have in our whole house. I want you to have them, Ms. Causey."
Jackie Barnes, child with almost nothing, had brought me the most beautiful possession in his home. For Easter.
Here's my big fat spiritual question for today: What do we do after supper tonight?
If you do the whole communion thing with a group or at your house, where does it lead you? Or does it?
After supper. After you sup and drink.
What? Who? What next?
Is there a gift waiting from you?