I Remember a Man

(Excerpts from: Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, as discovered on Rex Hunt’s liturgy website and used as a self-guided meditation for Good Friday Vigil, 2013)

I remember a man who had dreams of what might be:
that people would be set free from ideas and images about God that enslaved them
that people would believe through their everyday acts of human kindness they are intimately connected with the sacred
that people would live in peace, in God’s presence all the days of their lives.
I remember a man driven by his dreams.

I remember a man who had his moments of breakthrough, when it must have seemed that his dream was being realized:
the times people really listened and responded
the times men and women were prepared to walk with him and support him
the times when he spoke better and more convincingly than other times.
I remember a man enthused by his successes.

I remember a man who learned of the cruel death of his cousin:
He got into a boat seeking a lonely place, a place he could be with his friends
to absorb the shock
to grieve quietly
to calm the feelings of powerlessness and frustration and fear of his own future.
I wonder what he prayed about that night.
I wonder what helped him leave that lonely place and go forward to confront life rather than retreat in isolation and safety.
I remember a man driven by his convictions.

I remember a man whose dream was shattered:
who broke down and cried over what could have been
who knew the pain of failure and powerlessness
who knew what it was like to feel broken and terribly alone.
I remember someone human like all of us.

I remember a man who knew he was going to die:
who gathered with his friends knowing it was for the last time
who spoke to them about what he really believed
who wanted them to remember him and keep his dreams alive
I remember a testament to love

I remember a man crucified:
a failure
abandoned by his male friends
enduring a shameful and agonizing death
no consoling or heartfelt presence of his God to help him
I remember a man whose faith in all he believed was tested to the limits.

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