Sunday, November 21, 2010

a meditation

thirteen men going violently:
blazing sight across blind eyes,
lurching lame feet into a run.
searing feeling through leprous limbs,
terrifying funeral-goers with movement...

"...and the poor have good news preached to them."
what miracles!

"go tell john," said the Christ,
"what you hear and see."

john had been heralding a coming Kingdom:
all camel's hair and leather,
locusts and wild honey,
neither eating delicacies nor drinking wine.
it was too much.

and so, this herald had been taken by force,
would soon bleed out and fall

upon the whim of softly-dressed men in kings' houses:
reeds shaken by the wind.

"blessed is the one who is not offended by Me,"
said the Christ,
sending word to His cousin.
He surely loved this man,
surely knew his time was up.

john heralded a Kingdom he'd never seen --
had been in jail doubting -- to what end?

"we played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn."

and i'm a gluttonous king
drunk on my own religiosity,
hating john for abstaining
and the Christ for eating and drinking.
"yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

and it will be more tolerable in the Day of Judgment
for the cities of sodomy than for me:

wrapped in soft cloth and shaken by the wind,
knowing of His mighty works but not repentant

so unlike a little child:
at liberty dancing through the streets,
weeping hard at soul-death all around.
reading to know my Father's gracious will,
wondering that He has chosen me.

until i hear it:
"come to Me..."

and i feel it:
"all who labour and are heavy laden..."

and i want it:
"I will give you rest.
take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls."

it's so unexpected:
"for My yoke is easy..."

and so free.
"My burden is light."

read what i'm talking about at:


  1. Beautiful. And the pictures were the finishing touch. Thank you for sharing this, Bethany Ann.

  2. how utterly perfect. and so true. we are the worst kinds of zealots aren't we? all gluttony and mediocrity. i'm afraid of camel hide and locusts. i wonder what it costs me?
    but freedom.
    yes, to this. we learn. i think we get merest glimpses to whet our appetites so that jumping on beds is heaven on earth and a child's laughter is all we need to know of grace.
    happy thanksgiving, bethany ann

  3. so beautifully written, Bethany Ann. So often I am that gluttonous king. But I'm so grateful for grace.

    Love the pictures.

  4. my heart needed to read that. your words intertwined with the Word were powerful and beautiful. thank you!

  5. i want this too, friend. and i love the photos. how light, how light the burden. we can jump and then we can lie and rest. for one day, it will be so. i love that you linked up tonight. thank you.

  6. how i love to rest...that was wonderful! thank you.

  7. this is perfect.
    thank you for retelling... your words are beautiful.


    amy in peru

  8. lovely poem,
    the opening line instantly grabs me.

  9. I love, love, love your writing! I love your re-telling the story. What a gift. These words and pictures radiate life. I am so happy I found your site--from Emily's. I am definitely a follower. blessings to you.