Gethsemane—a poem by B

Gethsemane—a poem by B

Preface by reading Genesis 22:1-14

My body sinks, my heart bowed down,

My trembling hands ripping the grass

That cools my prostrate form—the ground

That’s now polluted as the last

Draughts of the Seder wine are changed

To tears and sweat.  What terrors await

The faithful son? Am I deranged

To hope, to ask, to beg the fate

Of Isaac? Bound, and willing—no,

It’s just a test, and in the end

You’ll stay the murderous hand, You’ll show

The ram, the happy ending, send

The obedient servant home, and claim

The moral victory?! Is it

Still possible that threat of pain

From Roman cross and nails is yet

A subtle closing bid for blind,

Loving trust in You? I can’t

Restrain my fear that I will find

No ram—or worse, that I’ll recant

My love, disown your choice, and in

My exit curse the opening lines,

“Behold, it’s very good!” You’ve been

So sure: “All shall be well.” But mine’s

The choice now! Where’s the ram? Do You pass

The final word to me? You know

I love you. Yet I may not pass

The test! Shall ramless history show

That in the end the Firstborn fled

The altar, broke the bonds, despised

The sacrificial knife—instead

Of suffering torture, undisguised

Disdain, and laughter from the sons

Of Adam’s pride? Abba! Shall I

Have come this far to be undone

By fear? There is no ram! Your eye

Is fixed on something I can’t see

Because my mind sees only pain

And scourge and nail. Oh Abba! Be

My strength, for I have none! Now chain

Me to Your will! How weak I am!

I’ve always known there’d be a ram,

A breath of joy to Abraham—

Before he was, I am . . . the Ram.

The joy . . . the joy . . . a glimmer just

Beyond my sight—a Ram, a Lamb,

A sacrifice, but more, a thrust

Of my heart into Yours. I am

Not capable of this. But You,

You risked the world, the future—all

Because You felt that I would do

Your bidding, bleed, and cry, and fall

Not into death but into joy?!

And yet—how can I turn my face

From Abba’s confidence? “My boy

“Will come through this with strength and grace,

“For Daddy’s boy’s the image now

“And always of his Father’s strength!”

Not true. I have no strength—and how

I’ll access Yours, and go the length

And depth of pain, I do not know. . .

Yet now let it begin, Your heart in mine.

I can’t resist, if You’re so sure I’ll go!

Let’s go together, one step at a time.

I’m terrified—but yes, I’ll be your Ram,

Not trapped in thorns, but willing, now, a Lamb

Laid willing on the altar. Let them take me,

Abba. This I know—You won’t forsake me.