Blood soaks porous earth, staining rocks, as I watch without wisdom the unfolding of bewildering drama before my travel-weary eyes. I am a stranger amongst a crowd of bearded faces of anger and weird delight, women beating their breasts with hopeless hands, and wailing with the sound of a thousand sirens. Somewhere in the front soldiers inflict wounds on the naked body of a Man hanging on a tree. As He grimaces, I hear the laughter of spirits, the sky grows sad and day quickly thickens into darkness. What has He done, I inquire from pallid faces around me. Encountering indifference, I persist: Why is He pierced, flogged? An old man wearing costly robes, his eyes filled with religion, answers in a voice as certain and quiet as the entry of death: He claims to be God. And slowly pointing a wrinkled finger at Him bleeding, whispers: See for yourself young one, the shameful exit of the helpless God.
I look at Him who is hanging on the tree and see nothing beautiful in Him. My heart suddenly hates Him with the sharpness of daggers and I approve of the slaughter before me. Walking to the place where He hangs shamed, the ghosts of my buried childhood and spirits of my tormented past emerging out of the boiling cauldron of my heart, I spit at His unguarded face. Tears streaming from His eyes, He speaks with the gentleness of flapping doves’ wings: Child, ages before you stood before this bloodied Man, I knew you. Before you learned the art of hating at the college of trauma, I loved you. Before galaxies were birthed and the first signs of life appeared on your planet of tragic beauty, I had already engraved your name on the tablet of My heart. Come, kneel before My nakedness, read My pages, your eyes will be opened to the chapters of My grace.
Anguish grips my soul, my flesh turns to leather, and I hear Him utter strange words of forgiveness and completion. A soldier raises his spear and silence seizes the hill. Thick cloaks of darkness smother earth, rocks tremble and as the screams of inconsolable women tear the silence into innumerable shreds, I find myself clinging to the bloodied legs of the Man murdered on the tree.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Almond Syiem and his wife Bameri are church planters at Bagdogra near Siliguri, West Bengal, India. They have a daughter (8) and a son (5). In addition to serving the Lord, Almond enjoys writing thought-provoking articles, poems and songs.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org