Friday: A poem

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April 1, 2015

Now that we’ve entered once again into the sombreness of Holy Week, I’d like to share a poem of mine which expresses some of my reflections on the cross, which I’ve shared on this blog before.

You might notice a key question in these lines: do we try to skip too quickly over the cross to the resurrection, something represented by the eating of Easter bread (or paska) on Good Friday instead of waiting until Easter Sunday? What does that say about our faith and its ability to face the ongoing suffering in our world—in ourselves, our church communities, our neighbourhoods, and around the globe? This poem invites you to think about these questions.

I wish you all a blessed Holy Week.

Friday

“Jesus continues to die before our eyes: his death has not ended.
He suffers wherever people are tormented.” –Dorothee Soelle

“Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world: 
we must not sleep during that time.” –Pascal

 

Were you beyond tired 
in the garden,
with everyone
sleeping
through the sound 
of your tears?

 

A certain exhaustion has
crept into me lately
and I envy your garden,
your place to weep and pray
in peace
the kind of weeping and praying
which strengthen one for the road,
even if the road should lead
toward death.

 

And hung upon the tree of death
in that haunted-barren wilderness
you must have been tired
to give up your ghost
to weep and pray and thirst for rest
to declare things finished—
or were they simply abandoned,
forsaken,
set aside so you could have somewhere
to lay your head?

 

But then
for three long days you rested,
wrapped in the torn Temple curtain,
embraced in the stillness of stone,
blanketed in lifeless darkness.
Oh, but they won’t even let you
rest there;
the legends all tell of the journey you took
descending past death into hell,
to lend it the light
of your wounded hands.

 

I’m so near tears today
while everyone skips ahead
to your resurrection,
stuffing their mouths with its sweetness
(Easter bread, that shallow semblance thereof),
while you still hang, bleeding and thirsty,
weeping in despair,
so tired of our years of sleeping through
your ongoing hours
of greatest
need.

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