Poem – Alive

I was never introduced to a living Jesus
in church.
He was a character in a story
that happened
long ago and far away,
to other people.
He was a boogeyman to come
in the future,
when I least expect it,
to settle accounts
and even the score.

He never was real,
never was solid and present,
always Christ,
never Jesus,
never a friend,
always more like a big brother
who beat up your enemies
and might
beat you up
if you talk smack.

Then I met Jesus.
The real one.
I met him in the Gospels,
I met him on retreat.
I met him in a spiritual director.
I met him in myself,
hiding there in plain sight.

Poem – 40 days

Noah spent 40 days in the water,
waiting for a new world.
He had in his ark one of each animal.
He was the savior of the world.
Every animal would have died
if Noah hadn’t saved them.

Noah listened to God.
God called him,
and asked him to do this crazy thing.
God said Hey, build me an ark – take in all the animals.
I’m ticked off at the filth
and the mess
and the pain
that people are causing each other,
and I’m going to wipe them out.
I need you to help me out here.


Jesus goes into the desert for 40 days,
just after being baptized.
He takes nothing with him
– no water, no food, no friends.
Alone, adrift,
he is in a strange land,
being tormented by the Devil.

God said to Jesus,
Hey, I need you to save this world.
I need you.
I need you to do this crazy thing.
I need you to die.
I need you to be the sacrificial lamb.
I need you to atone
for the sins of the world.

Job would pay for the sins of his children
even when
they didn’t know
they had sinned.
He’d pay extra, just in case.

The Jewish world
in the time of the Temple was
quid pro quo.
You sinned,
some animal had to die.
Some offering had to be made.
Some sacrifice had to happen.

40 days in the water to save the world.
40 days in the desert to save the world.