On Good Friday, Pinwheels and Wet Shoes


Holy week is a blur of images and moments, stories and memories.

Trees just beginning to finally bloom or sprout green. We are at the children’s science museum in town this morning and I’m watching Anna play with these lovely blocks that are little trees. Were you there when they nailed him to a tree?… Then driving home, I see a lone black man walking along the street and it makes me think of the lynching tree and the scandal of the cross.

I’m walking along a small creek (maybe a tributary of Jackson Creek in Bloomington?) with the children and we dip our feet into the frigid water letting the small pools and puddles act as basins in which our toes are scoured clean. Desmond can hardly stand his wet shoes and complains about them on the walk home. We pass by branches that have broken and fallen cloaking the ground in a rough carpet.

The night before after filling up Easter eggs with candy and stickers the college students went through prayer stations in the Narthex and I dipped my feet into a bowl to be washed by a young woman who has shown me grace in immeasurable ways. We are the only two who wash each other’s feet.

Thursday night a woman toweling off my feet reminds me of the tenderness in my own mother’s hand as they rubbed my feet nightly for weeks on end after the twins’ birth. Something about how our feet are loved and cared for in these ways – the part of our bodies maybe considered “least of these,” and Jesus bent over his own disciples’ feet only later to have his own feet pierced by the blows of an unforgiving hammer.

I’m holding Oz sleeping in my lap during the Good Friday service listening the part of the Scripture where Jesus speaks to his own mother as he hangs there from the cross one breath closer to death – pauses and says to Mary, Look there is John who is now your son, and to John, There is your mother. And I can’t help but be wrecked with grief at the thought of hearing those words. Seeing that image. Sleep and death look so alarmingly and uncomfortably similar. He startles awake as we sing, “O Lord, hear our prayer…”

After the Good Friday service we walk by a garden of bright blue pinwheels turning in the wind.