Simply, Simon; Redux

It is Holy Week, and I would like to repost something that I put up on Holy Saturday last year.

Holy Saturday is the day in-between. Very little is written about what happened on that day, but we can imagine.  We can imagine a man, much like us. A man defeated, alone, miserable and afraid. This man, who was once called a rock, today thinks of himself as simply – Simon. Imagine him sitting in a strange house in a city not his own, staring out the window, seeing nothing but his own failure, and the loss of all of his hopes and dreams. I have felt this way at times, and perhaps you have also.

He thinks of the glorious promise that he has witnessed the past months, the miraculous and wonderful things he has seen and heard. He thinks of the Man who showed so much faith in him, the Man who has now gone, died, left them all alone, without hope or will. But most of all he thinks of his own terrible failure and betrayal. A failure that his leader had predicted, and which he himself would never have imagined possible.

Yesterday, that black day, had proven to the man once called the rock, that he was made of no more than weak, mortal, human clay. Three times he had confirmed his human cowardice, his unworthiness to lead, or even to live. On this Saturday, the man who now once again thinks of himself simply as Simon, is filled with an unimaginable despair at the loss of everything he once valued, most especially his own dignity.

Have you  been there? Have you had to face the fact that you are unworthy because of your actions? No excuses, you simply failed. The time for heroism, for standing tall, for being more than you thought you could be, the time to prove yourself truly a rock of faith, of hope, of goodness, the time had come, and you…you had failed to heed the call. In your weakness or fear, you had simply turned away, waving your hand in dismissal. “No” you said “I don’t know anything about that, Leave me alone”. And not just once, but often. And then it was over, the terrible moment passed, and you were left with only the taste of the ashes of your own personal failure, as the whole glorious edifice you believed in and had worked so hard for, came crashing down in chaos and defeat.

I have been there. That is why I have long been so fascinated by this day that lies between the day of anguish and the day of triumph. On this day, Simon sits in agony and stares into space, not yet knowing that tomorrow everything will change again. Today, he is still unaware of tomorrow’s miracle that will change everything in the world forever. Today is the lowest point in his life, but tomorrow he, along with his dispersed friends, will be witness to a breathtaking renewal of hope. The resurrection of tomorrow means not only the resurrection of the living God, not only the rising of the Son of Man, but also the rising of man himself. A man like Simon, weak, afraid, defeated, failed, a man whose despicable actions on the Friday have left him hopeless and full of self-loathing, also rises on Easter Sunday, and once more becomes Peter the Rock.

Like us, he is all too human, and yet like us, he is capable of all that he later accomplished. I do not believe he ever forgot his acts of betrayal. But through grace and faith, and his human moral strength, he rose above them, and he fulfilled his destiny as a great fisher of men. So of all the miracles of tomorrow and the days and years that follow, for me the greatest is the miracle of the redemption of the man – the mortal, ordinary fisherman named simply, Simon.  Peace be with you in this holy season.

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11 Responses to Simply, Simon; Redux

  1. resonate47 says:

    Sy, I remember reading the original Simply. Simon last year when I was brand new to your blog. I read it up at Church actually as I sat in the foyer and it blessed me tremendously. I shared it with my dad later on and we both reflected on it. I had never really thought that hard of how Simon/Peter would have been affected. It served as a wonderful reminder that while things get dark in our lives, our Redeemer is faithful to return and redeem us. Thank you once again for this. Hope you’re having a wonderful Holy Week.

    • Thanks Ethan. I decided to post it again, since I seem to have acquired a lot of new followers, and I always like this piece, (which I wrote a few years back). I also have often called myself Simon, so I thought it was appropriate as a reflection of some of my own doubts and negative feelings. As many have said, the wonder of Easter depends on the darkness of the days that precede it.

  2. SheilaDeeth says:

    Thank you. I needed this,

  3. I do not think that we spend enough time thinking about Holy Saturday. I’ve noticed though this year many people Tweeting fire us to not rush to Sunday. Yes we know that Jesus rose from the dead, that death was defeated, that He lives; but this disciples did not. I have tried to imagine their total loss during that incredibly long time from Friday to Sunday.
    Thank you for this thoughtful post.

    • Tricia

      Welcome to the Book of Works and thanks for your comment. I came to write this by exactly the process you describe: trying to imagine how the disciple felt from the time of Jesus death until his resurrection, and when I finally was able to imagine it, the feeling was very familiar to me. I think we have all experienced hopelessness at time, utter defeat and self loathing. And so, I realized that the story of Peter (especially) is the really the story of all of us.

  4. Last year I wrote a story based on Mary Magdalene which like you I have reposted this year – would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Tricia, I found your piece beautiful and inspiring. I have reblogged it here, I hope you dont mind. Its always wonderful to find a new treasure from a kindred spirit. Thank you.

      • Thank you so much. I love to try to get into the heads of the women who were touched by Jesus.
        This is the first time I’ve had a post re-blogged 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Random Ramblings and commented:
    Thoughts on the blankness of Holy Saturday from Sy at The Book of Works

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