There’s a second century homily for Holy Saturday that begins “Today something strange is happening”
And for the women who had followed and cared for Jesus, today something strange is happening. Yesterday, they could stand in witness and protest – by the cross, at the tomb. It was a role they knew, a role too often played by women then and now, as they confront violent power. Unable to fight back, yet they have something they can do, as the bear witness. Tomorrow, they plan to go to the tom t anoint his body – another well-known role for women such as these, and many others – to make things right and decent, offer a last care, express love and grief and put it in its proper place so that, changed and sad and never to be the same again, yet still a normal life can begin to reconnect and resume.
But today something strange is happening. It was Sabbath and they could not go to the tomb – what they had done, what they would do was suspended and they had to something different something unknown, something strange. What was known had gone. What was to come had not yet emerged and they were stuck in that place of strangeness, having to negotiate a strange world where the old patterns, previous roles were no longer open to them.
What do we do with the strangenesses in our lives – when what we have always done, how we have always done it, even who we have always been is no longer available to us.
It can come for all sorts of reasons – willed or unchosen, internal or imposed. But what do we do with strangeness, when none of the scripts work and we’re trying to make it up as we go along. What defence mechanisms do we revert to? And what would happen is we put them down and lived defencelessly in the strangeness.