Thank you, James DePreist

by Elouise

Thank you, James DePreist for this poem. Please forgive me if you’re offended by my take on it. It seems appropriate for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. You lived this poem in your life; I believe Jesus did, too.

We are heirs to unseen
legacies of power that hover
barrier-high
above the hurdles of reason;
patient power,
unknown
and
unretrieved until
awake
we close our eyes and see
the gift; embrace with faith
this more real realm.

James DePreist, This Precipice Garden, p. 10,
published by the University of Portland Press 1986

It’s the beginning of Holy Week. Palm Sunday, to be exact. And here comes Jesus, riding on the back of a donkey. Going somewhere. But where? Why would Jesus do this? And why are the crowds so happy?

I don’t know. It seems to me it’s way past time for him to hunker down. He needs to take a lower profile. Stop saying things that agitate the wrong people, and whip up nasty rumors.

Just look at him! There he goes, creeping along on that donkey as though he’s on a highway to heaven. Or at least on the way to his coronation!

Does he know how foolish he looks? Or that the odds are stacked against him? Hasn’t he heard how angry some of our most important leaders are? How often they’ve tried to get rid of him or shut him up? I even heard one of his followers might be cooperating with the authorities! I thought Jesus knew everything!

Right now I’m wishing his followers would knock some sense into him! This is definitely not looking good—especially all that cheering along the way. We might all pay for his foolishness. Just imagine the crack-down that’s coming from the government!

Mass hysteria and disorderly conduct! That’s what it is. OK, maybe not everyone. Maybe some people heard about the miracles and hope they’ll get one, too. Maybe. But maybe they really hope Jesus will be appointed the ruler of Jerusalem!

Won’t happen. I can give you as many reasons why not as there are people conspiring against him even as we stand here watching this dangerous nonsense! This is going to end in disaster.

Look at that! He doesn’t even seem worried! I think he lives in la-la land. Such an idealist. He seems to think his words are going to make a difference. Well, just wait and see what kind of difference they make!

Two to one he’ll be eating his words before the week is out, and all his followers will have deserted him.

Jesus is an heir to “unseen legacies of power that hover barrier-high above the hurdles of reason; patient power, unknown and unretrieved until awake we close our eyes and see the gift; embrace with faith this more real realm.”

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 March 2015