Silent Encounter

crosssunsetWhat can I say about that infamous night?

How weary we were

As we followed Him to the garden

He prayed, we slept,

He woke us, again we slept

While we dreamed, He wept

Then came torches, voices, soldiers,

Armour gleaming in the moonlight

The betrayer moving in close

With his cold, calculated kiss

Before we knew or understood

His quiet intent


In fear and anger

I drew my sword from its sheath

He had to know I would fight for Him

To the death

I would rally the others, lead them,

We would not allow them to spoil the dream!

Lashing out wildly in the darkness

I heard a man scream

Warm blood trickled through my fingers

Chilling me, exciting me,

All at once


Strangely it was His rebuke

That pulled me up

I remember clearly His words,

“Put away your sword, Peter!

Shall I not drink My Father’s Cup?”

Amid the frenzied shouting

And chaos all around me

His Voice, subdued but firm,

Appeasing my agitated flesh

Just as it had been

That day we’d battled the storm

Out on Galilee


“You can’t mean You’re going to submit to this?

Does nothing ever take you by surprise?”

How badly I wanted to bellow at Him,

Grab Him, shake Him violently

Back to this reality

All evening His mood had been downcast:

Had He known they were coming for Him?

Too late, they already had Him bound!

Panic rising, I looked around

But the others had gone

Except, as always, for John


We followed at a distance,

John and I,

As they led Him away like a common criminal,

His hands tied

I waited, trembling,

In the courtyard,

While John went inside

Warming myself by the fire

Struggling to hide the turmoil raging within

Desperately contriving ways

I might rescue Him


A voice, too loud, broke my introspection

“You’re one of His followers?”

A servant girl,

Barely more than a child,

Firelight flickering

Around her loaded question

“No, you are mistaken, I don’t know Him”

The words slipped out

With surprising ease

I can’t help Him if I too am taken,

I reasoned


But soon another voice,

Startling me again,

“You are one of His friends”,

“Man I am not!” I spat out angrily

Cursing my thick Galilean drawl

Raised voices from within the house

Suddenly distracted us

The thud of blows on flesh I knew was His

From where I stood I could have seen

But kept my eyes to the ground

Lest my interest endanger me


Others were gathering round the fire now


Waiting out the drama playing out inside

Each one with an idea, a theory, an opinion

About what should be the outcome

Of this endless night

One rose from his seat and moved toward me

“Surely this man is one of them,

For he is a Galilean”

A dozen pair of eyes awaited my reply


Swearing, I turned on him

Furiously, raging,

“Man I do not know what you’re saying!”

He backed away

And all went still and silent

Except, that is, for a rooster’s eerie crowing

Resurrecting unwanted memories

Of words not long ago spoken

Trapped between fear and self-loathing

I lifted frightened eyes, at last,

Toward the house


He turned, His Face bloodied,

Our eyes meeting

In wordless, aching agony

No words can humanly express

The sorrow I saw in His Eyes

In that dread moment

It seemed like time fled away

And all creation ceased to be,

And there was only Him….

And only me

I lived a thousand years in that moment

And died a thousand deaths


Words rolled like thunderous waves now

Flooding my mind with the bravado of an earlier time

“Ready am I to go with You, Lord,

To prison or to death!”

“Though I die with You, I will not deny You!”

The truth of my own desperate state

Crushed unrestrained down upon me

Ruthlessly stripping away

All illusion of strength

I had believed I could save my Lord from wicked men

But who would save me….from my wicked self?


How bitterly I wept then

Hating the man I had discovered I was

Never a man tasted grief like I did that hour

It wasn’t His anger or condemnation,

For none of those did He know

Nor disappointment that I had let Him down,

No! None of those!

It was His love I could not bear

It slew me like a sword!

It was unbound Love in His Eyes that night,

And not reproach, that cut me to the core


What can I say about that infamous night?

How weary we were

As we followed Him to the garden

How little we knew

Of how He loved us

How little we understood

About life, death, eternity,

Or ourselves

Nothing I say can tell you how it was,

Except this perhaps:

It was the night Love pierced me through

And, finding me wanting,


Poured Itself 




Into my gaping wounds

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.


4 thoughts on “Silent Encounter

  1. Pingback: The Rock And The Hard Place | Bread for the Bride

  2. Very well put Cheryl. Just when I think that I love Him with my all, He lovingly exposes my true state to me – to draw me closer to Himself, and not for condemnation. I so feel with Peter.


  3. Oh Lord, arent we all at the place Peter found himself that night some many many years ago…Wanting! A love not ever known before piercing our carnal minds! Thankyou for Your amazing love! This is a beautiful word thankyou Cheryl!

    Liked by 1 person

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