Startled

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         Jesus himself stood among them
         and said to them, "Peace be with you."
         They were startled and terrified,
         and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
                  —Luke 24. 36-37

Still after all the proof and rehearsals
you startle me.
When I'm forgiven,
or given the opportunity to forgive,
when my wounds shrink under your hand,
when the long unmapped road of grief
leads into a gentle meadow,
I'm not sure what I'm seeing is real.
When you stoop into the wreckage of my life
and reach out to take my hand,
when I have betrayed you and you come to me,
wounded but whole, and bless me,
I can hardly believe.
In my shattered ruins you pick up the pieces,
you gather the dust and breathe life into it
and it takes living form
and it is me, and I am alive and free.
You will understand, then, if like a newborn
I am bewildered, maybe even terrified,
before I come to myself and,
squinting in the light,
cling to you with all my might.

April 12, 2017