, , , , , , , ,


[Palm Sunday, Goma DRC, two years past.]

This morning we arrived

in the knick of time.


It took me forever

to find a tie.


And then

I couldn’t tie it right.


I got the lengths all wrong.

In the end

I went with none.


Holding a sliver of

a palm frond,

I heard Jesus

drew near…

at the place…

the Mount of Olives…

same place

where in the other week’s gospel

they had wanted him

to join in

and stone

the woman

caught up

in adultery.

[Never mind the man.

Ain’t it always been so.]


And the cantor sang out:

a young man

with black hair

and bangs dyed

fire red….

[Never mind the traditional chanting.

Ain’t it always been so.]


But such beautiful music

called out today in a fresh new way:

and its needs needed an accounting.

[Ain’t it always been so.]


This morning


Isaiah spoke to me

when I needed to hear

words to touch me so:

he opens my ear that I may hear;

and I have not rebelled,

have not turned back.


I set my face

like flint,

not caring

a s— no more

if others put me: to shame.


In the middle of



I noticed the choir freely exchanging identities:


between each of those selfishly

circumambulating the circumstances

in the all too familiar narrating:


the disciples become the Sanhedrin become

those who call Simon to denounce

who beg for Barrabas, and who laugh

and scoff and judge that blood is

God’s will.  Who stand in front of

Jesus and stand in for God.

[Ain’t it just so.]


How freely we take on

with comfort and with ease

the various roles in life that dance

around the imago Dei:


that equivocate around the

committing Cross – that

call of Christ – that

commandment to

love – nothing more

and not a thing less.

[Never mind the saints.

Ain’t it always been so.]


How much easier it is to give in to the

immediate gratification of Barrabas

the revolutionary and killer who

who stands for taking matters

into callused hands


than it is to believe in

a wimp

who tells his comrades

to abandon

the two swords

mentioned in Luke

in order to go




into the garden


into the darkest hour

of the very night of nights.

[Ain’t it always been so.]


Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;

and when he had said this he breathed his last.


(Here let me kneel.

Let me pause.

Let me sit

with these poignant thoughts.

And meditate in my shame.

If only for this short time.)