When your young eyes have seen the seasons change
As many times as mine have, when your ears
Have been fine tuned to this world’s harsh discord
And your mind, then mature, perceives the dark
That holds reality in its sure grip—
Right then, at your rope’s end, when Jesus stoops
Down low to stand beside you, will his face
Glow with familiar light because it’s light
You’ve seen before, imperfect though it was?
Will his soft words sound strangely known, as if
His whisper weren’t the first time you had heard
Him speak? And when he there amid the night
Calls you by name, will his voice seem distinct,
Familiar, sweet, because you’ve heard him call
Your name before, your name upon my lips?
When he, in grace, rests his strong hands across
Your shivering back, will you accept their warmth
Because you’ve felt such love before when you
Reached up to take my hand, assured that such
A risk like reaching out was not in vain?
Will you know what it’s like to sleep secure
Beneath the strong right hand of one who loves
You dearly, causing you to rest assured
In him as you once did in weaker strength?
And as you walk your road alone will his
Near presence fill your soul with trembling joy
Because you’d tasted what it’s like to stand
In awe-filled love as you stood near to me?
Or will he seem to you a stranger, child,
One harsh and cold and spiteful, devious, ruled
By wrathful whims instead of self-control
Because that’s what you’d learned of him from me?
Will you have learned to long for him or loathe
His very being because of how I lived?
Will you have learned that he is joy and rest
And thus will you draw near to him because
You found in me, so many years before,
A faint reflection of the love of God
And such a taste gave you a longing just
To drink from my joy’s source and know him, too?
Repaint this sign, dear God, that I might point
With clarity the way to Jesus’ feet.
Look through the cracks in this clay pot, dear child;
May Jesus be the light that shines from me.
© 2012 Eric Evans