Monday, April 15, 2013

Pausing in Bethany

Bethany (from
Every spring, much of the Christian world celebrates Passion Week, commemorating the events of each day in the last week of the Savior's life. Regarding one day in that week, we know almost nothing. Two days before his death, Jesus returned to the village of Bethany, and for a whole day the scriptures fall silent. We can assume with some confidence that He spent that day quietly with his close friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. With them, as with almost no one else, Jesus could relax, could find solace, could step aside from the world that clamored either for His healing touch or for His blood.

In the midst of events of eternal significance, Jesus more than once paused in Bethany. He ate dinner with friends. We know He wept with them. I like to think He laughed with them, as well, and perhaps told stories of His travels or listened to their thoughts and dreams. They served each other, walked together, almost certainly enjoyed moments of peaceful, companionable silence.

Recently, I spent a weekend getaway with three friends. While we hardly save the world, we do each lead lives of eternal significance. We build marriages, raise children or siblings, heal bodies and spirits, teach youth, create. Sometimes we feel the weight of our worlds resting heavily on our shoulders, and sometimes we feel tiny and insignificant.

The weekend passed comfortably, easily, like slipping into a favorite pair of pajamas and sipping a cup of hot chocolate on a lazy afternoon. Our hostess possesses an uncanny ability to create a sense of peace with carefully arranged furniture and art, and that peace pervaded the hours. We made meals together, chatting over the kitchen counter while we ate. We lounged on the sofa and laughed about our lives. We played at the park like my daughter and her friends (though without the cartwheels), browsed through local art stores, took silly photos, basked in moments of silence, and even played with makeup. We did nothing worthy of note to anyone but ourselves, and we ignored schedules.

I returned home rejuvenated, grateful for my life and grateful, as well, for the friendships that ground me and add color and depth to that life. Because sometimes, pausing in Bethany carries its own eternal significance.

1 comment:

  1. You are profound and wise, even in simple things. Thank you for being part of my Bethany.