Tuesday, 27 March 2012

34. Pilate's wife - he'll never listen...

A disturbing little detail can get right under your skin. A look, a gesture, an unresolved threat that follows you into your dreams.

Take the nightmares of Anglican ordinands in training: appearing in the pulpit with hardly anything on; being laughed at in assembly; singing Evensong with laryngitis...

Pilate's wife 'suffered much' in a dream about Jesus of Nazareth. The timing was the thing - they were just about to lead him out to crucifixion, this strange prophet, this miracle worker with the haunting stare....

Will her husband listen to her warning, sent in urgency: 'Don't have anything to do with that innocent man...' (Matthew 27: 19)?

He will not.

Suffering can be picked up on a different frequency, like those high pitched whistles only dogs can hear. It's like a menace leaking out, a warning of darkness to come, a low level rumble of evil. 

Dream as premonition. It's happened to me before.

'Behold the man', the Christ who had to 'suffer these things before entering his glory' (Luke 24, Emmaus road conversation).

And behold the woman who suffers on his behalf. Thank you Pilate's wife.

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