Imagine…

I came across this question on my facebook feed and found it to be a powerful writing prompt. I answered on the page that posted it, but I want to expand it more.

You are one of the disciples. Today is the day after the crucifixion. What are you thinking AND feeling?

I woke up this morning lost, confused, and scared. All of us are crammed in this little room. We’d been praying for most of the night, trying to figure out what was going on when exhaustion took over and we slept.

The morning light is filtering in through the window, the dust of the desert air floating through the rays. The morning is cool but I can tell it’s going to be hot today. Oh man, my  head is throbbing. What just happened yesterday? Is it even real?

I look around. The others are starting to stir, too. We all look at each other. I think their expressions match mine and match what I’m feeling inside.

“Am I dreaming?” I ask Matthew.

“I don’t even know,” he replies. He looks he’s just gotten word he’d lost everything. Like Job. I suppose we all have.

I get up and walk over to the window. The city is still silent. Joseph of Aramethia got the body and buried it hastily yesterday. We didn’t have time to do it properly before the Sabbath today.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.

Was it?

I can’t help but think that something has gone terribly wrong. I thought Jesus was supposed to save us. I thought he was supposed to overthrow Rome. I thought he was supposed to be a king. I thought… so many things. Did this really happen?

What are we supposed to do now? I feel so lost. Peter hasn’t said anything since the night before last, when he denied Jesus. When we all did. We all ran away. Is that why this happened? If only we’d all stood together, fought back. Things would be different then.

Maybe it’s all our fault.

We let him die. We just ran off and let them kill him.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Weren’t we just riding in Jerusalem like heroes? How did everything change so fast? What went wrong?

Was this really what he meant? He’d been talking about how he needed to die. I didn’t think he really meant die. I thought it was just a figure of speech. A parable. He talked like that so much. I just thought it was figurative.

I can hear more people moving around behind me. I hear someone sniffling. We all feel that way.

“We should keep praying,” John suggests.

“Pray for what?” I think that was Thomas. I don’t want to turn around. My eyes are brimming with tears.

“I don’t know,” John admits. “But we should anyway. It’s what he would have done.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Thomas replies. “It’s all over.”

In my mind, I agree with Thomas. It is over. God’s kingdom? Here? Now? It’s completely impossible. We can’t do anything else. We can’t do this by ourselves. My soul is heavy and aches in a way I never thought possible.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

I blink and the tears fall. I quickly wipe them away and clear my throat. I turn around and see that no one is looking at anyone. Everyone is looking at the floor. I see John’s lips moving. Thomas looks like death. I walk across the room and sit down next to John. I feel like Thomas, but I want to feel like John. Maybe if I sit close to him, it will rub off on me.

I breathe deeply and try to pray. I have nothing. All I can say is that it wasn’t supposed to end this way. All I can do is ask why.

Is that good enough for God? Will he condemn me for my lack of faith? How can I even believe anymore? I thought we were promised victory.

I can feel myself getting angry. How is John even praying? Who is he praying to, even?

I stand up and head for the door.

“Where are you going?” Thomas asks.

“I’m going for a walk.”

“But it’s Sabbath.”

“I’m going for a walk,” I repeat. What else can I do?

It’s over.

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