Friday, April 22, 2011

More lenten poems from the book of John

Day 29, John 14:15-31

How can you make your home in me?
I’m too small. There’s no space
for infinite Trinity in here.
The rooms are crowded, and some
of the windows haven’t been opened
in years. The air is stale.
Cobwebs hang in the corners of the
ceiling. The whole thing needs
a spring cleaning and a new
paint job. With my current means
and energy level, I can’t possibly
get it ready for you, Lord, even if
you could find a way to fit. I guess
you’ll have to do it yourself.

Day 30, John 15:1-27

How can I abide in you,
my Lord? I go for hours
without even thinking of you.
Prayerless days are not
uncommon, and if I’m
not in crisis mode, I find
my joy in other pursuits.
I don’t naturally turn to you
in my open spaces. I don’t
gravitate to the center.
Some kind of centrifugal
force spins me away,
in spite of my longing
to abide. Please help me.
Pull me in to you.

Day 33, John 18:1-27

“I am he” is the seismic center.
It spreads in expanding rings.
The bodies fall outward,
circle a setting sun.
Torches, weapons,
a bloody face, arrest
and betrayals spin,
but the center holds.
Even so, night deepens.
Even so, this unbearable cold.

Day 34, John 18:28-40

“What is truth?”
the politician asks,
not sticking
around for an answer.
The question hangs
in the air while
the man born
to be king awaits
his coronation
in silence.

Day 35, John 19:1-27

“Dear woman, here is your son.”

Even from the cross
you attend to the details,
express affection,
provide for your own.
It’s from the cross
that you provide for all
your own, bring into line
the messy details of all
our lives, say your immense
and costly I-love-you.
From the cross.

Day 36, John 19:28-42

Out of the pierced side
of the God who died
flow all the terrors
of all the nights
the rapes the abductions
the children lost and
the mothers mourning
sirens and sleeplessness
thunder in far off places
the confusion of the archangels
and all my tears, all my sorrows
carried in the stream
that flows from his side.

Day 37, John 20:1-18

Missionary, apostle to the apostles,
beloved friend of Jesus,
tears still wet on your face,
it was love that thrust
you forth, joy that gave
your feet wings, wonder
that filled your voice
with gospel. Woman of God,
pure and trembling one,
you will remember always
his voice, “Mary,” forever
calling your name, “Mary,”
causing you to run
from the garden to the city,
from Jerusalem to Bombay,
to Barcelona and Cleveland,
to Cochabamba and Kigali,
telling us all,
“I have seen the Lord!”

Day 38, John 20:19-31

All doors being closed
you came and stood
among them. Even now you
defy our doors and doubts,
choose to stand
in our midst. Glory.

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