A strange thing then:
To meet a man like this along the road.
Strange to see him walking so far alone,
In a restless country.
Strange to see such a man
Treading tracks out of Jerusalem, with no fear
of lonely vigilantes
Or roman swords, and strange too,
That he should speak so freely,
and asks so much of cowered men:
Trudging out of hope and onwards,
disappointment laid upon their backs
like heavy splintered yokes.
A strange thing then, to find themselves
forgetting the bile and panic in their throats as
The threat of whips and spears came near;
The fragile leaves and dusty coats.
Strange to remember feeling young and clean,
In the temple full of sweet scents,
Hearing their rabbi’s tender words falling
On their fresher faces, long before salty hands from
Strange to find the tender flame of the law
Still breathing inside,
And scripture igniting as it once did,
in small flames of encouragement.
Whispers of promises,
glory, and the guests of Abraham.
They try not to fear and invite him in.
They lean their heads and keep one eye the door.
They pray that their charity has been seen,
With heaving chests they do not think
Of what prayers they might have dared to pray.
Strange then, that this man should take up food and bless
what is not his. Strange then, that as they pray
all that is gone and lost and burnt away,
The Stranger should command so gently
Do not be afraid.
But they are, nonetheless.