“I’ve got real problems, Jesus,”
I mutter—perfunctory prayer—
Little more than a complaint, really.
“Don’t You get it?
Don’t You Care?”
He sighs, not impatient, more like,
Don’t you get it?
He shows me an angry mob
Storming Gethsemane to arrest him.
Peter—a fisherman with a sword—
Cuts off one of their ears.
Jesus gives Peter the same look.
Jesus knows what’s coming, but
He isn’t angry nor afraid.
Wait, what? With love in his eyes—
How could he love a guy like that?—
He touches the wounded guy’s ear and
He is renewed, restored, healed.
And that’s when the guy starts weeping.
He takes me to Skull Hill,
As chilling as its name.
Roman soldiers, laughing, mocking,
Pound spikes through his hands and feet,
Fastening him to the cross.
Just another day’s work for them.
Gritting through excruciating pain,
He asks God to forgive them, since
They don’t know what they’re doing—
And to forgive me, since
I don’t know what I’m doing.
We skip ahead a few hours.
One of the thieves being crucified
Next to him asks Jesus to remember him
When he gets to his kingdom.
I guess the guy can’t see that
Jesus can barely breathe.
I open my mouth to tell the guy off,
To defend Jesus, but before I can,
Jesus tells him, through labored breaths,
That today they’ll be together in paradise.
Then I’m back,
In the midst of my
Prayer of discontent,
Like I never left.
Jesus interrupts me,
Whispering with labored breaths,
“How can you not know
How much I care?”
David K. Carpenter
Copyright © 2022 by David K. Carpenter, All rights reserved
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