He took a towel and basin

Daily Reading for March 30 • Tuesday in Holy Week

I was dreaming that I was treading the streets of the Holy City, pottering about like a tourist. In my wandering I came upon the museum of that city of our dream. I went in, and a courteous attendant conducted me around. There was some old armour there, much bruised with battle. Many things were conspicuous by their absence. I saw nothing of Alexander’s, nor of Napoleon’s. There was no Pope’s ring, nor even the ink-bottle that Luther is said to have thrown at the devil, nor Wesley’s seal and keys. I saw a widow’s mite and the feather of a little bird. I saw some swaddling clothes, a hammer, and three nails, and a few thorns. I saw a bit of a fishing-net and the broken oar of a boat. I saw a sponge that had once been dipped in vinegar, and a small piece of silver. But I cannot enumerate all I saw, nor describe all I felt.

Whilst I was turning over a common drinking cup which had a very honourable place, I whispered to the attendant, “Have you not got a towel and basin among your collection?”

“No,” he said, “not here; you see they are in constant use.” Then I knew I was in Heaven, in the Holy City, and amid the redeemed society.

Knowing that He came from God and went to God . . . Jesus took a towel and basin.

From The Discipline and Culture of the Spiritual Life by A. E. Whitham, quoted in Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community (New York: HarperOne, 2002).

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