The Most Important Hour

Good Friday. Our mother had us sit out the noon hour in complete silence. Alone. We always dreaded the hour. It felt like a forever sixty minutes. I’m pretty sure we didn’t eat lunch either. To my mother, this hour was the most precious hour of the year. The most important hour to pause. The most meaningful moment. The one hour since there was evening and there was morning that counted.

And, it wasn’t actually awful. It was peaceful. It was an hour I wasn’t going to get into trouble for abusing a sibling or getting into something I shouldn’t. Because, I think,  we actually understood it.

Understood that across time and space and eternity, there was a man that dropped every last drop of his blood and let out a last breath -- for me. For Me!  He took all the disgusting mess that I am and absorbed it --along with the mess of every other human -- on that cross. In that hour, the earth lost hold. It fell apart. It was dark. There were earthquakes. Weird stuff happened. A giant curtain ripped between the most holy and man. He suffered the worst and I suffered through a quiet peaceful hour - one lost meal while one man lost his life.

And when the hour was over, we were released from our silence. We started to clean our house. We started to prepare. We always put new sheets on our beds. We cooked. We ironed outfits that my grandmother made for us. We got ready. We knew what was coming. The dying part was finished. And knowing what was coming made that last hour the most powerful ever.


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