Our beloved – finite,
Mortal, caged
In this illness, life,
That “does not lead to death,”
When we all know it does.
The Teacher leads to death, too.
Oblivious, he marches us
Back into the den of fear,
Of flying stones
Of ordinary executioners.
Why not follow? At least we can only
Die once.

Our beloved – gone,
Bound, buried
Barricaded by stone
A voice unheard
A smile unseen
A heart no longer beating for us
Beyond our reach
Our longing overmatched by facts:
A stinking object
And crying, prying city folk.
Ready still to kill One
Who weeps along with them?

Our beloved – held
In hope, for the last day
Can these bones live? Can these graves open?
One day
The breath will hear the prophet’s call
(Good news to the poor
Liberty to the captives
The opening of the prison to those who are bound),
Return home
And many of those who sleep
In the dust of the earth
Shall awake

Our beloved – whose
Last day arrives, here, now
With a loud cry
A voice lifted up with strength
Distant hope crashes in, with
Sight, Sound, Shock and Awe:
“Behold your God!”
The highway is cleared of its stone
That he whose head is shrouded
Who walks in darkness and has no light
May yet walk in the light of day
And not stumble.

Our beloved – now, again
Has ears to hear
The prophet’s admonition:
“Trust in the name of the Lord
And rely on your God”
His bindings, unwrapped, bind up
The brokenhearted, granting
To Zion’s mourners
A beautiful headdress for shrouds
And ashes; mourning’s cries quenched
Her head anointed
With the very oil of gladness.

Our beloved – here, still
Today, in the world’s
Springtime. Shoots of life may
Burst through anywhere, any time –
Shocking, startling
When noticed sprouting
From times of weakness,
Seer’s fevered dreams, martyr’s blood
Death or conflict, even fear:
Reminders that
The last day has passed
And today is Lazarus’

Our beloved – inviting,
Challenging us, to give even these terrors
A long second look, just in case
We find along the paths
Of “virtuous and godly living”
Of unfeigned love, that
Led there, through there …
Unspeakable joys
A new heavens and a new earth
Where the former things are unremembered
And will not
Come to mind.


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