I’ve known Jan Richardson since I was in college in Tallahassee as a freshman, before moving to Wesleyan. She was a senior at Florida State University and later was appointed as the second associate pastor to St. Luke’s. Her writing and art have always touched me, especially her meditations and blessings during Holy Week. Her words of waiting in the mouth of the women who held vigil to the very end of Christ’s final breath, leave me with the true grief of someone who has lost everything. May these words meet you as you wait in vigil for the blessing God has been waiting to give you. The blessing of a love that has conquered the silence, darkness, and grief of Good Friday.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there,
sitting opposite the tomb. ~ Matthew 27:61
“And now?” we asked yesterday. “What do we do now?” We wait. We watch. We keep vigil. We remind ourselves to breathe. Andif, still reeling from the rending, we hardly know what we keep vigil for, it is no matter. And if, in our aching, we hardly know how to hope, it is no cause for despair. On this day, all we need to know is this: We do not wait alone.
The Art of Enduring
can wait as long as you can.
This blessing began eons ago
and knows the art of enduring.
This blessing has passed through ages and generations,
witnessed the turning
weathered the spiraling of history.
This blessing is in no rush.
This blessing will keep vigil and chant prayers.
This blessing will bring a friend for company.
This blessing will pack a lunch and a thermos of coffee.
This blessing will bide its sweet time until it hears the beginning
of breath, the stirring of limbs, the stretching, reaching, rising of what had lain dead within you and is ready to return.
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons