This was not the night for pious kneeling, or for pouring warm water over another’s feet, or for feeling the gentle wipe of a towel on my own.  I don’t know why.  Maundy Thursday has always been one of my favorite services in Holy Week.  I like the story, the exchange between Peter and Jesus.  I like the washing of feet.  I like caring for friends that proceeds the agony and betrayal that come later.  I like the connection between that meal and the stylized version we still share.  But this year, I couldn’t go.  There are a lot of parts to the reason why.

Last year, Maundy Thursday fell about two weeks after my surgery.  So, this brought back more memories about the slow pace of recovery–of the pain, of the long hours spent on couches and in bed, of calculating how much I could do in any hour or day.  I remember sitting in that pew, surrounded by people who knew me, who knew what the last weeks had been.  I was surrounded by friends and peers.  I remember sitting there, so far from the water and the towels.

So this was not the night to sit in a pew surrounded by people who love me, whose expectations and hopes I sometimes find stifling.  To move and pour the water and feel the towel.  It was a night too close to another night, another state of being.  This was not the night.