Mark 15:34

And, at three, Jesus called out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?” which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

it’s never so dark
it can’t get darker

beyond the physics of light
lies the experience of life

when a nearest breath leaves
darker becomes darkest

turning toward a morning
is no antidote to this dark

soul dark can’t cry out
there is no other there

with no next breath
even a groan is too much

having left myself behind
all else leaves at warp speed

Regardless of any outward disaffirmation of an inward belovedness, we claim our fear of wilderness even as we enter it more deeply. Such a personal cry is bound to be misinterpreted by anyone casually hearing us. There is no, “I understand” or “I know what you mean” or “I’ve been there” that could possibly be of any comfort or other significance.

The experience of bereftness is overwhelming. It is an immensity of nothingness, an emptiness of monumental proportions. And yet, for those acquainted with the prevenience of grace, it is a mirage.

It is in the caughtness of this moment that we need to remember again the Garden of Gethsemane and a prayer of partnership rather than hierarchy.

It is in this understanding that my translation in Slow-Reading the Gospel of Mark comes out:

my G*D
my G*D
why have you
unpartnered me

Mark used the word βοάω (boaō, to cry out) twice—here and back in 1:3 where Baptizer John cries out in the wilderness. This helps us understand the impetus behind and power of John’s call to the people as well as grounding Jesus’ cry in expectation.

The three-hour silence is broken with the last use of Aramaic (e.g., 5:41, 7:34, and 14:36). This is a final distancing between the Reader and the characters in the story. By this time, Mark can expect the Reader to have ears to hear behind the sounds of the world.

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