I Just Want to See What I Expect to See

“Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”‘?” – John 14:8-9

Like Philip, I’ll be satisfied to see
what I expect to see.
His vision might have been of swirling cloud,
or pillar of fire dancing in the night.

And Peter, what would he expect?
An army terrible beneath its banners?
A monarch mighty on a throne
whose feet were tended by his underlings?

The Magdalene anticipated… what?
A corpse? and did not see her friend
until he said her name. Her eyes
were drawn to death.

So I, like Philip, will be satisfied
to see what I expect, for you and I
know well who sets the courses of my soul…
Or, well, at least who claims to set them.

And I, like Philip, must be satisfied
with who you are, O God, and not
what I demand you be, and I, like Thomas, will
be your bewildered follower on the way.

A poem/prayer based on John 14:1-14, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year A, Fifth Sunday of Easter.

The image is The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (painted between 1494-1498) – Unknown source, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24759.

The image is, of course, what I expect to see – and is therefore a warning against expecting to see it.

4 thoughts on “I Just Want to See What I Expect to See

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