A River

“[Jesus said,] so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” – John 17:26

I imagined I saw Jesus. He was kneeling by a river.
I walked up close behind him. He didn’t say a word.
“Oh, Jesus, have you heard of all the children who lie slain?”
He never turned his head; he said, “I’ve heard.”

“Why are you kneeling by the river?” I demanded of his back.
“There are children who need saving, there is evil beneath the sun.
In churches and in grocery stores the blood must surely shout.
He never turned his head; he said, “It shouts.”

“What will you do then, Jesus? Will the churches,
temples, stores, and schools be stained with blood?
Will we sup full of horrors every day of life?”
He never turned his head; he said, “You shouldn’t.”

I fell down there beside him, and I found the river’s source
as a torrent ran from Jesus’ streaming eyes.
“How can you bear this suffering?” I begged him with my tears.
He turned his head, and softly asked me, “How can you?”

A poem/prayer based on John 17:20-26, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Seventh Sunday of Easter.

Photo by Eric Anderson.

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