Sunday, April 20, 2014

I didn't know...

(When a poem came forth on Ash Wednesday, I was surprised. However, the verse that emerged today in celebration of Pascha (Easter) could not have surprised me more. I do not always understand the gifts God gives - much less expect you to understand them. However, reading the brief poem for Ash Wednesday as well as my recent post for Holy Thursday may lend some context for the poem below. You may read or listen - or both... )

i didn't even know i was in hell
when You came for me.

i thought that I was alone
while they persecuted me
and treated me unfairly.
surely You could see
how wrong they were
and that i was one of Yours!

i did not understand Your silence,
why the walls closed round me
in stony darkness,
why my cries of complaint
never reached Your ears.
they ridiculed me
and You did not stop them,
they robbed me of all dignity
and You did not rebuke them.

did You not love me
more than this?
did You not love me
more than those who
sought to destroy me?

i had not known i was in hell.
or that you had left
the Prayer there for me
amidst the ashes at my feet.
yet i repeated its words,
again and again,
until they spoke themselves
deep within my heart.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.

over and over, i said them
until i had become
all of the me’s in the world,
their sins were my sins,
and my sins, theirs…

and then, when i looked up,
You were there.

i had not known i was in hell,
so accustomed were my eyes
to the darkness within me,
so familiar was my heart
with its own despair.

and now, You are here…
gently, You touch my eyes –
and I see, as though for the first time!
there are no walls of stone
imprisoning me,
no menacing enemies threatening
to take my life.

i stand emptied and open,
Your glorious light ever before me.
my heart has been freed for mercy!
mercy – o endless mercy –
You surround me and fill me!
o joyous, wondrous love –
You who are my heart –
shine in me, o eternal Light!

He is risen.
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
He is risen, indeed.