Lord, how You frighten me,
coming through walls, suddenly appearing,
all shining, unearthly. Can it be
You’re the smiling One I remember
bouncing children on Your knee?
I remember Your hillside stories,
so terrible and wonderful,
but all their awe-inspiring glories,
their woundings and their soothings were
gentled by some calm or ease
we felt with You. We marked the real
way Your lips formed words and sighs,
the way dust clung to Your heel
when you walked the village roads, the arch
of muscle and bone when You stooped to kneel.
And when You died, Your blood was red.
It matted Your hair, fell on Your chest.
Your chest… I could see it pound. I fled
when I knew that You were innocent,
that you were dying for me instead.
They put You in a human tomb.
Women wept, as women do,
as many touched with grief and gloom.
(Once, Lord, I saw You weep
tears like rain in the silent room.)
Resurrected, now You stand
too wonderful for me to look,
too high, I cannot comprehend
our majesty, Your holiness.
But suddenly You extend a hand.
I can’t believe the marks I see,
the ugly wounds, ragged gashes,
marks of experienced humanity!
Why have you allowed these to remain
in your splendid, glorified body?
Reminders always of mankind’s son?
Marks of earth You choose to wear?
Can it be when all is said and done
these bloody badges forever prove
that You and I are inexplicably one?
Marlene Chase, The Officer