A Disciple’s Lament

I crouch a short distance from Your tomb
Just beyond the soldier’s sight and hearing,
As close to You as I can without being discovered.
My body is at once numb and aching from crying
Yet the tears still pour like a river from my swollen eyes
And my body shakes with futile sobs.
Why am I here alive, a sinner,
While You, King of Life, lie dead in a tomb?
What beauty, what justice, what love can there be
In a world that slaughters its best,
The Messiah sent to love us,
Sent to lead us home to the Father?

How can there be any joy for me now
In anything of this heartless world?
Friends, why did you not support Him?
Rocks, why did you not sing forth His praise
Angels, why did you not rescue Him
Or comfort Him in His agony?
Father, where is Your love for Your only Son
That You would allow Him to die like this
In so cold a world unwilling to love Him in return?
How can I understand Your Heart
At once cruel and forgiving?
Will You help me understand
Why a man yet God so Precious, so Pure,
So Life-giving, so healing,
Was Himself so brutally mistreated, so misunderstood,
So ignored, rejected and unloved?

Father, Your words in my heart
Tell me of the love of a Father
As seen through the love and life of the Son.
Your words in my heart tell me
Of how long You have loved Your people
And longed for their faithful return;
How long they have rejected You.
Your words in my heart tell me
Of a lonely tomb in our hearts,
Ignored, misunderstood,
Even hated if that be possible.
How cold and dark like the tomb
Must our hearts feel to You,
O Giver of Life.
Yet You wait in silence,
Like Your Son in His tomb,
For life to return to our hearts
And welcome You in.

O Father! O Son! O Holy Spirit!
O Promised One!
Help me to prepare my heart
For Your return as You promised!
Come to my poor darkened heart
And bring it Light and Hope again!
Bring Your Sacred Heart to Life in me
That I may love, not despair.

Come bring us Hope,
Though we gave You little;
Come bring us Peace,
Though we left You none;
Come bring me joy
That died with You;
Come bring me love
That I may love You as You desire;
Come and resurrect Your Heart in mine.
Do not leave me, as You promised.

I will wait for You, my Lord,
Keeping my lonely vigil.
If You die, my heart dies with You;
But if You live, live in me!

2-21-2000

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Hearts Must Speak

They laid You down
On a cold slab of rock.
Motionless You lay as the rock,
Your body already chilling,
Soon to be cold.
We prepare Your body to be wrapped,
Cleansing the dirt and dried blood
With what we have:
Our veils, our wraps,
The ends of our skirts, our tears.
Cleansing the wounds of Your head,
My heart pierces with every new puncture
I discover in Your Precious Head.
My heart cannot contain my sorrow
Nor my love for You even now.

Your lips, now cracked, swollen,
Bruised, caked with blood,
Once spoke the Words of Life,
Once healed our hearts,
Our souls, our bodies,
Now silent.
In their silence,
The Words come rushing through,
The Words from One whose actions
Did not betray the Truth,
The Words that echo
Through our minds and
Swell our hearts with Your Love,
Now silent in this cold body
But flooding our hearts still.
As I wrap Your head
With Your burial cloth, I whisper:
If Your lips must be silent
Then our hearts must speak!

Your Sacred Heart
Pouring out its contents still,
Lies exposed
Through the gaping wound in Your side.
How Precious its Love was to us,
How empty the world now
In the stillness of this Heart.
As we veil Your Heart with the burial cloth
A chill sets in, in a world that has
Lost her lover.
Widows of Your Sacred Heart,
We bury our hearts with You
To be returned only with Your Heart’s return.

As the sounds of the stone rolling into place
Echo in our shocked minds and empty hearts,
Your promises fill the air.
Walking away from the tomb,
I hear those words again
Speaking to my heart.
Did You not say
Death had no power over You?
Did You not say
You would never leave us?
A strange wind stirs our hearts
As we gaze back to that tomb.
Did You not do all You said You would do?
Our hearts burn within us with Your Words,
With Your Love, and stir us to Hope.
If Your lips must be silent
Then our hearts must speak!

5-8-2000

The Nail-Puller

Entranced by Your Sacrificial Love,
I push through the sneering, arrogant crowd.
At Your feet, I helplessly watch You struggle
And let go of that last painful breath.

Held in Your trance of love,
I hear not the clamor of the crowd
As they give up their sport.
I notice not the darkness
Overtaking the landscape.
I hear only the silent, pain-filled roar
Of Your Loving Father’s voice
As the earth trembles from
His passionate cry.
I only see Your face
As the tears of Your Father
Streak the last drops of Blood
Across Your ravaged Body.
Your Mother’s tears join His at Your feet.

I struggle to release Your hands
From the grip of the heartless nails.
Who are we that we should treat You like this?
As You are released from Your Cross,
Your lifeless Body falls against my shoulder.
I catch You as a mother catches her child
Wrapping my arms about You
Struggling not to let You go.

Holding Your limp form that once held
The Prince of Peace,
The Lord of Love,
The Son of God,
For a few tender moments
I cradle Your punctured head
Against my shoulder,
Your pierced Heart, now silent,
Leaves its mark on mine.

Then lowering You so lovingly,
I gently lay You in Your Mother’s waiting arms.
As once she gathered You to her
As her only Son, Her loving Savior,
She cradles you once again.
And as she once covered Your small body
Against the cold night,
She covers Your torn and pierced body
With Your burial cloth.
Every wound is forever branded on her heart
And emblazoned in her mind.

You are hers now,
No longer useful to the cold world
That knew You not.
They do not recognize the latent power
In Your dead body.
You lay peacefully now in Your Mother’s arms.

I see now on myself
The marks of Your wounds
You have left on me.
The dirt, sweat and Blood
Will fade in time.
But the marks on my heart remain.

1-26-2000

Dying Into Love

Beloved Lord, Precious Savior,
You are before me hanging by nails
Sunk into the Cross of our making.
Such immense pain overcomes You,
Yet so tenderly You lean
Upon the Cross of our sins,
Taking them all upon Yourself
In such immense Love.

Humbly, so sweetly, You hang
With the Love of the universe in Your eyes
Beckoning me to You.
Your body stretched, willingly surrendered,
Nailed into immovable submission,
Your head bowing,
Weak from pain and loss of blood,
Leaves just Your Heart exposed, vulnerable to all,
Moving deeply within the prison
Of Your tortured body.

Come to Me, You beckon,
As I sit motionless at the foot of Your Cross
Gazing into those tender eyes,
Tortured, yet loving still.
Come and stay with Me
While I die for you,
You whisper to my trembling heart.

Silently I remain,
Watching in quiet anguish,
Adoring this Heart so pure, so tender,
So immensely loving;
Heart moving so deeply even as You die,
Giving, surrendering all for my love.

How can I love You as You desire,
My heart yearns.
Your Sacred, loving Heart begs,
From complete surrender,
To be taken.
I am here always waiting,
My Heart served on a Cross,
Waiting to be taken, held, loved,
Cherished, consumed.
I give you all, silently, with no resistance.
But you must take Me.
My image is always here in your churches, your homes,
Yet My sacrifice moves so few to love Me as I desire.

Come, take my Heart down from the Cross
And into your tender heart.
Your love guides my hands and heart
To reach for Your tender Heart.
Holding the sweetest essence of Love in my hand,
I take this tender Heart into my own
To love in the depths of me,
To tenderly adore unceasingly,
To die into, surrendered completely,
For Love.

4-26-2002

Your Perfect Cross

You hang helplessly on this Cross.
I kneel before You,
The One whose Words
Of Kindness and Love,
Of Forgiveness and Mercy,
Move my heart.
My body, as I draw near, shudders
From the pain I see.
Every part of Your Body
Screams out in pain
With no hope of relief
Until it is finished.

I draw closer still, my Lord,
Gritting my teeth against the pain.
My eyes, unable to behold
The full nature of Your torture,
Lose focus so
I approach with my heart.

Nearer still I come,
My heart longing to embrace
And free You from the pain and
Rejection of our world.
Can I not shield You
From the hate? The cold hearts?
The arrogance? The pain?

At Your feet now,
Leaning on Your Cross,
My heart breaks to feel Your pain.
But as I enter deeper,
There is another world,
Another kingdom here,
Gripping Your Cross.
Your Spirit of Love engulfs me,
Bathes me in its clear, perfect,
Silent sweetness
Surrounding You even now
And touching those
Willing to touch Your Cross,
To enter into Your pain,
Thus passing through to
Your Perfect Grace,
Your Perfect Love,
Releasing from
Your Perfect Cross.

4/6-8/2000

Beggar King

As I walk, You walk with me.
As my steps grow closer to Yours
You form my feelings,
You cast my thoughts.
Drawing me closer,
You open my soul.

My heart, made pliable by You,
And vulnerable to Your ways,
Moves to Your desire.

I pause on a grassy knoll.
I sense Your Presence deepening now
As You lead me to Your feet.
That grassy knoll,
So close to Calvary,
Holds Your Cross.

My heart is drawn to Your Heart
By Your desire.
You reveal to me Your Sacred Heart
So exposed in all its tenderness,
So open to the human world.
Your Heart, my Jesus, still beating,
Still cries out for love, our love.

You, my Lord, show me
How to be vulnerable;
You teach me about masks;
You expose me to all Your Ways.
You show me Your Precious Heart,
Wide-open to all our ways.
No masks, no shield,
Only a heart beating with longing,
Longing for us to long for You.

“I thirst,” You cry out again.
“Thirst for me!”

The unearthly softness
Of Your Sacred Heart
Disarms me
As You hang on that Cross,
So gentle, so blameless,
So pure, so perfect,
So much desiring
So much more than we give.

Your Heart overflows with Mercy.
Your Heart cries out in Silence.
Your Heart, a sea of Tenderness,
Begs for the love You desire.
But we turn away from our Beggar King.
Worse yet, we walk by
Not even noticing that the King of Love
Begs from a Cross.
You would give all for the Love
Of those who would give nothing.

In my own desire for Your Sacred Heart,
I imagine how I would feel
If You turned away from me and my longing,
Or didn’t notice.
Yet every day You die again
On that lonely Cross
For a look of love, and
A heart open to Yours
That You may love.

12/17-18/1999

Come For Me

At Your feet with Your
Mother of Sorrows
I watch Your Blood soak into
The wood of Your Cross,
That Precious substance lost so soon.
Will Your Precious
Words be lost as well?
As we abandoned Your love and Your body,
Will we so with Your Words and Your Life?

I stare at my bloodstained hands.
I stare at Your Mother’s swollen eyes.
Anything, avoiding the look I know I must take
Into Your eyes of love
Crucified for me.
I feel Your eyes on me.
The tears come.
Still Your eyes burn into my soul.
My heart, my Lord, cannot survive
Your eyes of Love from that Blood-soaked Cross.

I listen.
You are whispering prayers.
Names, You are calling names
To Your Father.
Is my name among them?
Please forgive me, Lord, my heart cries out
As tears blur my eyes.

Slowly, I build up to the Truth
I must not deny.
I start with Your feet.
Oh, my Lord! Those feet
So torn, holding You barely
On Your torturous Cross.
The overflow of my heart
Washes Your feet.
My love anoints Your feet
With a kiss.
Your precious feet that
Walked our earth for us
Already grow cold from loss
Of Your Precious Blood.

My eyes move to Your chest
As Your body heaves to receive breath.
Your Sacred Heart labors
Crushed by Your body’s weight
But more by the weight of our sins.
My arm around Your Mother now,
We watch together
Knowing the end is near.

My eyes slowly raise to meet the eyes
Of the King of Love, crucified.
I grip Your Mother’s hand
Unable to breathe.
There, Your eyes like a magnet
Draw mine to Yours.

There the most beautiful,
Most Precious Love
Holds me in His power.
My body could be dead
For all I know–
My heart is not there,
It is gone now, with Him
Caught in His unearthly desire
Begging me to come in
To His Kingdom of Grace.
I cannot move.
I cannot breathe.
There is a pain in His eyes
That speaks to the core of my soul.

Let me do anything to appease Your pain, my Lord!
There is a love in His eyes
That burns my body, sears my soul
And captures my heart
Forever bonded to Your eyes of Love.

Once there, there is no turning back,
There is no looking away.
My eyes belong to Yours,
My heart, my soul, it is all one
Locked into Your soul-stirring look of Love.
I become Yours forever.
Into Your hands I offer my soul.

As the Light fades from Your eyes
You offer Your Spirit to Your loving Father
And You are gone into Him
As I into You.
Take me with You I breathe
As Your body slumps,
Only an empty shell now
Like me, without You.

Come for me, my Lord, my God,
When You return, I pray
Still gripping Your Mother’s hand.

4-21-2000