The More Earnest Prayer of Christby Scott Cairns (from Recovered Body)And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly…-Luke 22:44His last prayer in the garden began, as mostas his prayers began–in earnest, certainly,but not without distraction, an habitual…what?
Distance? Well, yes, a sort of distance, or a muteremove from the genuine distress he witnessedin the endlessly grasping hands of multitudes
and, often enough, in his own embarrassingcircle of intimates. Even now, he could seethese where they slept, sprawled upon their robes or wrapped
among the arching olive trees. Still, something new,unlikely, uncanny was commencing as he spoke.As the divine in him contracted to an ache,
a throbbing in the throat, his vision blurred, his voicegrew thick and unfamiliar; his prayer–just beforeit fell to silence–became uniquely earnest.
And in that moment–perhaps because it was sonew–he saw something, had his first taste of whathe would become, first pure taste of the body, and the blood.