Worst Friday

That one day was a bum deal all around.
Betrayal: check
False accusation: check
Torture: check and check.

Just a few days prior to the Very Worst Day,
The people were excited!
Running around, hosannah-ing right and left,
“Oh Jesus we love you you’re the best”
but soon calling out the name of Barabbas.

The Most Awful Day pressed on.

Even worse than the torture
was a sudden deficit of disciples.

Deny deny deny.

Did he know things were going to go sour
so quickly? All indications are
yes. Still…

As always, it was the women
who showed up, really showed up.
And that one apostle whom Jesus loved.

By then, all that was left was the forgiving
and the dying.

IMG_2258Painting by Robert Valienti-Neighbours


Not Alone

I am you,
and you, me.

Help me, I have no hands
to feed the hungry,
nor lips
to sing songs of praise for the morning,
nor eyes
to see and rejoice in the babe, the crone,
the strapping youth,
the old man creeping his path toward home.

I will help you
carefully prepare and serve
sing with beauty
see clearly and
rejoice loudly.

I am you,
and you, me.

The pain of the lash, halved.
God’s gift to the world, doubled.


**For the women of Blaine Street Jail. Thank you for making art with me, and making me a better person.


Time moved slowly, and there was time

to teach
to laugh
to feed and love
to heal them
and myself.

So long ago, yet only days since I rode these streets
on my small steed
and heard, as from a distance,
“Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!”

Now unkind voices crowd me, and only pain
makes them still.

Still I pray that this is a healing, too.
Please, Abba, let the whiplash and mockery of robe and crown
tell the world in all the time to come

“I bear this weight, but so must you.”