Grace and Peace to you.
A leper knelt, a mass of sores,
a sacrament of wounds confessed to God,
a soul with failing skin,
a fragile screen between the inner world
and all that lies beyond.
“If you are willing,” said the man,
renouncing self and choice and will.
“You can,” he said, forsaking “might”
or “won’t” or “ought” or “must.”
And Christ reached out and touched
his untouched hands, and laid an arm
around his blistered shoulders,
and with tender ease embraced him chest
to chest, and held a moment,
wide with grace, his seething flesh
in his, his trembling thirst, his failing hope,
his tears disguised as sweat,
his hidden loveliness, until
all flesh was one, all skin dissolved,
and that thin, deep abyss between them bridged,
two joined in mercy, healed in something
like a home.
He stood, and outwardly appeared
as inwardly he was: beloved,
whole, and blessed by grace
not gained but purely given,
free of worthiness, received,
and uncontained by flesh.
“Now go your way, and show yourself
to wondering priests,” Christ said,
“and let them close their eyes
and see true purity for once.”
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes