houses of grey blank walls decked out in smooth rich wood
panels and pictures of picnics and parties…
banal bacchanalia, all splattered in Blood.
Beds of spikes, hidden neath down comforters,
and wool knitted afghans of colorful,
threatening sinister pattern.
Houses in neighborhoods bereft of neighbors,
each one is serving themselves and alone
in community of this alienation…and all is
destroyed by their own bloody hands…
the work of rough hands…even rougher grave throats.
Our eyes are still bloodshot from staring at visions
of genocide done that we didn’t see coming
but now we continue to watch, in foreboding
but hoping in vain that the cute lil houses
are what’s really real and not all the horror,
lurking beneath in destruction and gore.
we are really in fear and wondering…
what happens when a killer comes home,
or (gulp) even worse
if that killer had never left home?
what happens when victims
look each other in the eyes again?
what then, and who blinks first and looks away in shame?
What are these wounds on your chest?
The wounds I received in the house of my friends.
What is greater: the pain of being violated
or the bitter agony of forgiving?
a valley of dry bones cannot be forgotten
even in the face of forgiveness so costly.
This impossible for me to try to describe
or even conceive of apart from the cross of Christ.
Because forgiveness is also
it’s own rare and exquisite
form of great suffering.
And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit, no escape from the agony,
no pitstop from pain…
all we can do is exchange suffering’s form and it’s face,
from our own for the pain of another…
and us become willing to be bashed and broken
by those very ones we so desperately want
to reach out to and reconcile and leave pain behind.
This is the agony of a tortured soul wrestling
and a wrecked body there…offered in prayer
on the altar of sorrow…for the forgiveness
of torturers’ torments in this dank dark world
of violence and victims, laboring heavy
beneath weights unspeakable and even greater,
the weight of the cross.
And Him? The Reproached?
The Betrayed, Who was Broken?
Him The Despised and King of All Criminals,
King of All Victims, King of All Shame?
Perhaps He knows of the path thru this valley
of broken dry bones full of dust, full of death.
Perhaps He can see those small signs of life
that are hidden from eyes filled with blood, hate and rage
and only seen by the eyes washed clean with tears
of repentance and wonder to look for our Spring
and the signs there so gentle
of a coming glad day of Resurrection…