Have a Wonderful Easter Season!

I would like to share a poem with you that brings home the meaning of Easter to all of us. It was composed by a friend I met by email a couple of years ago. After reading it, I asked for permission to post it so others could be touched by it as much as I was.

The response was overwhelming, and Keith was moved by the many positive and grateful responses he received from so many who were touched by his poem. Although saddened by the news of his accidental death one year later (summer of '98), his poem continues to touch the lives of many. I am sure you will also appreciate the beauty and meaning in his words ...

Jesus Crucified Jesus Risen

"Eloi, Eloi,
Lama Sabachthani" *

by Keith Clayton, Jr.
(1968 - 1998)

* A cry uttered by Jesus Christ
while dying on the cross,
preserved in the original Aramaic:
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

Father,
Now the sun is risen,
I thank Thee for Thy silent strength
Given me in my hour of despair--
When the darkness
Seemed to smother,
And the tears
I selfishly shed
For my own pain
And trivial troubles
Shut out the light,
And I rendered myself
Alone.

Father,
Now Thy Son is risen,
I thank Thee for allowing One
So much greater than I
Thine Only Begotten,
Flesh of Thy flesh,
To complete a task so
Wonderful and
Terrible
By leaving Him
Necessarily
Alone.

Father,
In the garden green of Olivet,
In the still and solitude
The Creator of everything
Offered up all He had,
And submitted Himself
To all the vengeance of Hell;
And in His hour of need,
The Friend of the friendless
Was forsaken,
Forgotten,
For what?
Although the spirit was willing
The flesh indeed was weak;
And they slumbered,
Leaving Him,
The Balm of mortal pain,
To suffer,
Alone.

In the beauty of that desert place,
The Savior of mankind
Faced all the ugliness
His charges could offer:
The pain, the hate,
The sin, the sorrow,
The waste, the wickedness,
The pride, the poverty,
The deceit, the ignorance,
The doubt, the fear,
The betrayal
--And even the
Loneliness--
Alone.

As His immortal, righteous blood
Was spilled, like sweat
From every pore
And fell to the thirsty earth below,
I cannot hide
My honor and my awe
At His great love for me;
Neither can I hide
My shame,
Self-reproach
And regret. For
How many of those precious drops
Am I responsible for?
--As He suffered
The bitter cup,
Alone.

The longest night
the world will ever know,
The solstice of eternity,
Fell on Emmanuel
And by the light of torches
The Light of the world,
The very God of Love,
Was betrayed by a kiss,
Enslaved by strangers,
Rejected by His own,
Denied by those who
Knew Him best,
And led away
In chains
Alone.

How it must have hurt Thee
To witness the sufferings
Of Thy Beloved
Inflicted by Thine other children--
Those whom He had come to save;
To steadfastly persevere,
And answer not a word,
Amidst the jeers
The blows,
The spit
And scorn;
To see His perfect body torn,
His perfect soul rent in anguish,
Staggering and fainting beneath
The evil and imperfection
Of all mortality
Collectively
Alone.

And Thou,
Beyond the grasp of human pain
Did surely mourn at the
Mocking of His misery
By so many witnesses and
Beneficiaries of His
Miracles and ministry--
Those who knew better;
Who unworthily
And ungratefully
Bore Thy birthright;
Those with whom Thou had
Cut they covenant
Now cut the flesh of Thy Son
Deliberately.
And in the crowded mob
He wept
Alone.

Down the winding passages of
The City of Peace,
Stumbled the Prince of Peace.
Plaited thorns adorned His crown;
Stripped of all but His
Mantle of Duty;
How it must have burdened Thee
To see Thine Own,
Who in innocence
Did glorify Thy name,
Bearing a scapegoat's load--
The weight thereof
Not unfamiliar to Thee,
Which could so mercifully have been loosed
By Thy Omnipotence;
Yet in the name of mercy
Didst Thou allow
This charade of justice
To continue.
At a crossroads He was lifted up
Upon the cruel cross.
And in His torment,
When He needed Thee most,
Thou left Him
Unwillingly
Alone.

Father,
In the vastness of Thy creations,
was there any place large enough
To contain the immensity
Of Thy sorrow?
Was there any place small enough
And far enough away
To hide from the pleas and cries
Of Thy suffering Son?
Until the moment He pronounced
"It is finished."
Triumphing, at last
Alone.

In olden times, the Scriptures say
Thou wert a jealous God described;
I think I know now why--
Jealous lest man ever
Slight,
Forget,
Or with anything replace
The memory of the Sacrifice
Made by Thy Son
Alone.

O Father,
I thank Thee
For sacrificing Thy
Fatherhood for Thy
Godhood, by
Giving us Thy Son
To pay the ransom we could not.
And by so doing,
Thy righteous heart was broken also--
For what Father could bear to see
His helpless child suffer
And not rush to his aid?
--Instead, to leave him
Intentionally
Alone.

O Father,
I thank Thee
That through the tears that fell
From His eyes
And from Thine,
That my tears may be dried
And my eyes opened
To the Hope of my Salvation,
And the reassurance of my
Eternal worth
--In spite of myself--
That my meager life
Was worth dying for.
And He died
For me, and
Because of me,
That I might live for Him,
In all my days serving Him
As tool and ambassador
Of the love He had for us;
The love that gave purpose to His life
And life to His purpose.
Father, I acknowledge my
Hungering need
To bear and be borne by the
Unconditional Love of Christ,
Who unselfishly serves all those who but
Come unto Him.
As Counsellor,
Advocate
And Friend;
That neither I,
Nor any of us
Need ever be
Alone.

Father,
Let me let Him in!
Let His Light fill the recesses of my soul,
That darkness and evil
Find no place.
Let me always make room
For Him for Whom the inn was full.
Let your Spirit make me wise enough
To seek the King of Kings
As the Magi did;
And as
Wise men
Still and
Always do.
Let me ever joy
In that same glory
That was witnessed
To lowly shepherds
Long ago.
Praise be
To the Father
And the Son!
The glory be
To Him and Thee
Alone.

Please bless me,
Dear Father,
That I may live my days
In remembrance
Of Him Whose hands
First sculpted me in clay.
Whose hands now rest in Thine;
Those hands
Thou once suffered
To be pierced
For my sake.
Father, wouldst Thou bless me,
That as He bore my burdens,
I may lift all those around me
With whom I share this
Borrowed existence--
For Thy sacrifice,
And His,
Was not for me
Alone.

And in His name may I
Heal the poor in Spirit,
Feed those enhungered
Of body or soul;
Build up where others tear down;
Make Peace
Spread Love;
Share
His
Hope;
That as I represent Him
In my small corner of the world,
No one I meet
Will ever be
In need,
In doubt,
or
Alone.

Jesus Lives

Copyright 1998 Connie Clayton
For the author
Keith Clayton, Jr.
(1968 - 1998)


Reprinted with permission
Free to duplicate and distribute free of charge.
(please include site address)


Keith's poem has touched those from around the world, and I'm grateful to him for allowing me to share it with all of you. If you enjoyed the poem and would like to let his family know, just and we'll forward your note.


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