When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come…
The room is dark now all except for the monitor flashing your vitals and a tv tuned to a hospital menu of television options. It is late and has been a long day. A long few days really of not enough sleep and the strain of watching a loved one walk through terrible illness and the stress of death looming on the horizon.
We girls head to the other side of the room, you know the one that is designated for family and sit in chairs to sleep or on that hard pull out couch. The room is cold and we snuggle under too thin blankets.
You begin to struggle, you are in pain and cry out and suddenly I can’t just lay here and so I get up to stand beside your bed and help to calm you. Soon your other daughters gather by your side and we are trying to help you, to comfort you. The time begins to stretch and my body and mind is so tired but I can’t sleep, no not can’t because truly I could. I could fall asleep standing, but I must not. I need to walk this with you.
Suddenly I think of Jesus and his last night on the earth. Surrounded by his friends and all he asks is for them to stay awake and pray with him. How hard is that guys? I mean, just stay awake, right?
Suddenly I feel so weak and unfaithful. Suddenly I feel the weight of the exhaustion and my brain plays out the story and now I understand. I understand the pull of sleep on a weary body, like that new mom with the baby up all night and all your eyes want to do is close. Like the business person road weary and just needing a good night’s sleep. Like those friends huddled in a garden, wanting to support their dear friend – but just so very tired. The eyes close, not to sleep, just to rest. The head nods and the sleep comes. The spirit is willing but the body… the body is weak.
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?Matthew 26:40
My precious best friend. I want to do this right. I don’t want to leave you scared or hurting, I don’t want to leave you alone to face this. I want to stay up with you, to rub your shoulders and tell you it is going to be ok. I want to help rub your neck and scalp to help make the pain bearable. But truly the spirit is willing but the body is weak.
You no longer look me in the eye, but if I call your name you will answer.
You are looking above me at the ceiling but you are enthralled with it. I ask you what you are seeing and you tell me breathlessly “pretty, pretty”. I ask what it is and you say “angel”. I ask what else you can see and you say “Jesus”. I say to you, “now wonder it is beautiful”.
I wish I could see what you see.