I SAW THE FACE

John August Swanson (b. 1938), “Entry into the City”
Courtesy John August Swanson

I saw the face of Jesus in the crowd
A face nearly anonymous, not proud,
He looked and saw what all of them had done,
Not one or two or three but everyone,
Love and hatred, generosity
Mostly their indifference plain to see
Separate and lonely though they yearned
To have someone beside them, nearly burned
To have a soul be with them, love or lust,
They wanted to mislead and yet could trust…
He looked like someone facing His disgrace—
Of Jesus in the crowd I saw the face

“Is this for what I went upon the Cross?”
They could not hear as I did of His loss,
They did not see His look of deep dismay,
But also love profound was on display,
Love and deep and moving helplessness—
“Free they are,” it said, “and I will bless,
Especially the love and how they gave,
But for them all the Cross and try to save…”

And those who will love now what comes of them?
“They leave this crowd, the New Jerusalem”


 

HOW PRECIOUS

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) “Christ Healing the Sick”
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

How precious then, what could be so
As any treasure that we know,
Gold or silver, diamond, pearl
The finest cloth you could unfurl?

It is the truth, the simple and
Sometimes painful, sometimes bland
That shows you with a handicap
Not one for them, for you a trap

To find your way with epilepsy
Stand still although with tremor-palsy
Remember names, remember faces
Languages, the ways through spaces

Admit a weakness and confess
Within yourself a wilderness
Through which you find a road to lead
Away from lies, the road you need