16 February 2007

To Charles

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:39, 40.

“I can’t lift my arms high in praise,” you said,
your body crippled by cerebral palsy,
“but I can lift them higher than a rock.”
Your arms reached up, jerking in spasms,
your voice so low and garbled we had to lean forward to listen
and focus on your lips,
the beautiful lips of the black man confined to a wheelchair.

“But I can lift them higher than a rock.”
And quicker than the fear of bouncing a check
had rushed in my head that morning,
a shameful grace rained over me
and washed away
my concerns about paying the cable TV bill,
and the remaining text of a pity argument,
and my anger at having lost my parking space that morning.
And all I wanted was to shout in deafening blasts,
lift my arms with yours, and
stare through your stained glass eyes
at the beautiful Savior.

11 February 2007


Like the executive flinging himself from ledge,
Diving into the arms of metal and concrete,
I fell in love with You.
Like the knife plunged deep, fatally into the chest
Of the faceless and innocent murdered victim,
You slipped in my steel heart.
The dissection you performed was more discreet
Than the gentle surgery of a mafia goon,
And, like dung and vomit,
You were to me unbridled release.

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