The King of Calvary

Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

What do we do with the mystery of the cross?  Do we try to make sense of it, arguing over whatever we think God was doing on that dark day and the golden morning that followed on the third day?  Do we fold the mystery away in some mental storage compartment and promise to think about it some day — or promise ourselves that we’ll ask God about it when we get to heaven?  Or do we live into the mystery, letting what our minds can’t encompass fill our hearts?

The King of Calvary

 

He wasn’t much of a king.

He was dusty, and the dust

Was streaked with sweat.

He stank of mortality.

Dried blood clotted his beard and striped his face,

And his hair was tangled where thorns had caught it.

His feet were dirty and calloused in our hands

When we went to place the nails.

His eyes were tired, red with tears;

His shoulders slumped with pain and weariness.

His garment was damp with sweat

When we took it from him.

But it was a good one, woven all in one piece,

A little coarse, but serviceable.

We had a right to it, to share it.

But it would have been a shame to divide it,

So we settled it with dice.

I have it still, folded away.

Somehow I couldn’t wear it.

 

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