I think about the doubt in Jesus that the expanse of two-thousand years has created in all of us, and it make me curious. Two-thousand years from now, what other world changing events will history have forgotten? Our world has suffered genocide, war, disease, and now many matters of social injustice. Our culture is passionate about these issues. But the truth is, and not to be a wet blanket, they have happened before, and often in a much worse way than they do now. It is sad, but i can only speculate the dwindling passion. Should this irk us in some way? Should forgetfulness of the horrors our world has suffered and also created pain us? I think they should. What about Jesus? Innocent man, killed, buried, rises again, and then the all of Eurasia changes. The Roman world changes, religion changes, people change, and currently our world is still changing. The most books in the world have been written about him. His name is the most well known on the planet…yet two thousand years later…it never happened. I suppose History is easy to doubt if enough time passes. I suppose truth is easy to deny when the messenger that brings it to us is either hypocritical, unreliable…or dare I say, just plain human. There are still echoes of God in the world, still ripples of Jesus. I apologize if this post is becoming a rant, and that it may not even reflect the poem, but I must ask–What do we doubt when we doubt God? Him as the truth? Or just those things about him, or his people, with which we don’t agree? How the hell do I know. Just read the poem.
By Paul Tomes.
It was only two thousand years ago,
In a dim room lighted for dinner,
When dirt had walked its way
Into the cracks of floorboards,
Blacking the bottom of their feet,
Nudging dirt deeper into pores,
And their steps, into fissures of the floors—
Two hands, crusted beneath the nails
With the same earth, straddled a bucket
Filled with water staled by many washings.
His bronze body, the metallic skin
Swaddled by clothe around the loins,
Bowed below them.
His ordinary body, sweaty’ed by service
And the dry heat of desert night,
Brittle’d, never having been washed himself.
That body—how it cracked
Upon beating the next day,
Like a cymbal shattering.
Only some remember the song it played.
The chords split the skin and
Drowned in the dissonant
Sounds of scourging.
These are the songs that we try and play
From our stages, two thousand years away.
They are what I try and recollect,
Hidden in the back of the pews,
The sonic and symbolic resemblance of forgiveness
Birthed from swaddling clothes in the upper room.
I spread out in search for silence,
Enough space to take me back to the place
Where dirt washed dirt and the next day
Became dirt for man to heel him into the ground
So he could heal us with some inglorious sound.
Still, silence evades me in the steeple’d
Buildings I hide inside.
The only echo that two thousand years
Has thrown forward into my ears
Are the necklace’d women sitting
In the seats next to me,
Cheering me on from both sides,
Trying to squeeze truth into me
By way of a cross that hangs on both their necks,
Settling, slightly hidden, between their breasts.
I welcome your comments.