Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, June 6, 2014

Surprised by Joy

John 7:37-39
John 20:19-23

the man sat in the hot spring sun
heat bouncing off the pavement in front of the Greyhound depot

his pants were well worn
cuffs rolled up
and knees almost worn through
their dark green color darkened
by dirt and oil

his coat
a bit too warm for the season
was shapeless and more than a bit frayed
but wrapped around him
like an attentive lover

underneath his stocking cap
his face was burned brown by wind and sun
creased by winter storms

his hair curled wildly around his face
and deep blue eyes
bottomless like a azure pool in the ocean
peered from beneath
looming eyebrows

next to him on the bench was a backpack
army issue
perhaps Vietnam
lumpy with treasures
picked up along the way.

hands gnarled and twisted
by labor and injury
aged beyond belief
gently peeled an orange

as I passed he looked up

I braced myself for the ask
“Hey buddy, can I have…….”

and then, with a ragged voice
shaped by thousands of cigarettes
into a raspy whisper he smiled and spoke

“Praise the Lord, buddy!’

like a faithful acolyte I echoed my response
Praise the Lord!  Indeed!
as the gift of the spirit shared
touched my heart, and set it aflame

and he went back to his orange
a man at peace

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