I went to Good Friday Tennebrae service tonight (did I spell that right?) It was moving as usual, this is the first time in a long time that I was startled by the loud bang that symbolizes the closing of the tomb, I actually jumped a little bit-- I knew it was coming and yet I still jumped. Tonight, though I was thinking about something that happened to my first summer at camp. I was a freshly minted camp counselor and Jim, in his infinite wisdom, decided it would be a great to give me an eight year old cabin. I had kid in the cabin that just kind of scared me. He was, how shall I put it... intense. His name, I think, was Chase, I woke up one morning and saw him in the middle of the cabin doing an eight year old version of calastetics (again, I know I spelled that wrong) and he was staring at me as he punched the air. Itwas a bit frightening, but I pretty much cowed later on by throwing him around in the pool for awhile, but I'm not writing about Chase. I'm writing about another kid that was in the cabin with Chase. They cam from the same church. This kid was solid kid, kinda chubby, but for the life of me I can't remember his name. I could I suppose, I just have to back and look at my camp photo album, but I just don't feel like doing that right now. Anyway, I think it must of been the first day-- Monday, we were walking back from morning song time when this kid siddled up to me and in all honesty asked me the following (and he worded it like this): "If Jesus and I were the only two people on Earth who would kill him?" I was taken aback. To this day I don't know if it was a test or a for real question, if you know what I mean. I took it as a real question, though, and thought about it for a second. I had to figure out a way to break it to an eight year old kid that it would be him, that he would be the one to kill Jesus, like if it was me and Jesus as the last two people on earth that I would be the one that would kill Him. So, I believe I just told him outright. And, if I remember right, he just kind of said "Oh, okay" ran off to hang with Chase.
You know what they say about "from the mouths of babes," I think the question and my answer affected me more then it did him and maybe it was supposed to, maybe it was a good old fashioned spirtual honkytonk.
Tonight as I sat in church and listened to the choir sing softly to us I looked at the banner on the wall. It was a black banner with red writing that said "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing." I just found myself reading it thusly: "Father forgive Karl for he knows not what he is doing." It is always something different that gets me every year. Something I haven't seen or heard before or maybe I just wasn't ready for it until now. I held the hammer, I still hold the hammer, that stapled Jesus to his tree. I'm responsible for the gash in his side and the holes in his hands and feet. I mocked him. I spit at him. I thrashed him with a cat-o-nine tails tipped in bone and glass. Me. I did that. And yet he asked God to forgive me for something I did-- because I didn't know what I was doing.
Wow, that's some heady stuff for me to process.