Thursday, June 9, 2011
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
My feet are dusty, sweat has dried rivulets
lines on my face marking my passage
stains of the road the rejection judgment
from strangers I don't look like them.
My dress is exotic, my people enemies
born of this land but relocated
a trail of sorrows forced upon us
by greed and arrogance the ache
for expansion and wealth.
Our enemies, those whom we have expelled
from their land will bear our burdens
bind our wounds and bring us home
it we let them, if we let them in.
My body is broken from the journey
set upon by thieves desperate pain and hunger
crying out in pain and shame
needing another to carry me home.
The ones who sat with me at summits
the theologians, the scholars, the priests
they turn at the sight of soiled garments
assumed poverty and failure
someone to step around.
Tender is the touch of the unknown friend
exotic and dark, spicy in smell and earthy
I am lifted from this shoulder where garbage
has been my cover from the penetrating sun
where the noble has turned away and rats have
prayed for my death.
If we would so likewise seeing the broken
as our children our family our relations
huddled along the road homeless forsaken
dirty and dejected we might know God's touch
tender and gentle a balm of sweetness
on this harsh and winding road.