Sitting in my white-walled office,
there is always a bustle outside
in the hallway, yet
I still feel safe here.
It’s home base.
I’m with the seemingly popular
and victorious Jesus, who
teaches and feeds and heals.
I know who he is–The Messiah
The Son of the Living God.
But then he told me that
we’re going to Jerusalem.
And that I have to leave my office.
He talked about death and a cross,
and naturally I said, “No.”
But we’re going. Crosses as our yokes,
slogging one foot in front of the other toward…something.
Next week we’re doing a neighborhood
clean-up, and today
in the church parking lot there were
snaking along the pavement.
Someone will have to pick those up.
What will they say to their children
who will inevitably ask, “Mommy, Daddy,
What does this have to do with following you, Jesus?
I walk past the filthy parking lot,
carefully avoiding the empty Magnum wrappers
and snaky plastic,
and I listen to sad stories
and frumpy individuals who have everything wrong
with their lives, and I drive to the next,
on this road to Jerusalem, and the cross.
As powerless as I feel
I am pulled like a magnet toward
peoples’ sorrows, and they tell me,
and I can’t fix it.
Sometimes I deny you, Jesus, and
I do try to fix it by myself. Sometimes
I doubt that you know what you’re doing.
I mean, look around.
It’s bleak here.
But you say to follow, so I do:
out of the office and into the neighborhoods
where I sometimes lock my purse in the trunk,
my brain making judgments until I am
paralyzed with fear,
but people live here everyday
and you are there among them.
The ugly and the beautiful all
wrapped up into one.
And sometimes I am unwilling to see you in it.
Glass not even half-empty.
But here I am.
The rooster is about to
crow again, isn’t it?