Terrifying transfiguration

         He was transfigured before them, and...
         they were terrified.

               —Mark 9.3, 6

Don't be fooled by the neon friendliness,
like a “burgers and shakes” sign.
Don't fall for the allure of great figures,
Moses and Elijah and Elvis assuring you
you're on the road to the stars.
Don't be waylaid by your cleverness
to have brought a box,
a very theological box, to put this all in.
Let's be honest: it's terrifying
to stand too close to a speeding train,
to get near to the power of God,
the light that can change you
into your own unknown,
the mystery that will surely consume you,
the love that will crack your life open
till the light all spills out
and you're drawn to the cross,
kicking and screaming and grateful.
Maybe Jesus himself was a little freaked
at first to be turned into pure light.
As with any great force, if you're not scared
you're not paying attention.
Pay attention. Bow down, and listen.

   —February 7, 2018