Sifted like wheat

         “Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,
         but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail;
         and you, when once you have come back,
         strengthen your siblings.”

                  —Luke 22.31-32

Beloved, I give you myself,
ripe and unripe, dappled and incomplete,
dead and raised.

I wave my palms,
         and yet I mean you harm.
I receive your body and blood in love,
         and I collude in your suffering.
We spread our cloaks before you
         all the way to the cross.
We cry for justice,
         feeding on the labor of the poor.
You are my highest treasure,
         which I will deny.
I will learn from you,
         then put you on trial,
         and not examine myself,
         and forget how never you judge me.
I promise my faithfulness,
         and I betray.

And yet by your grace I will come back.
Beloved, sift me, and redeem the wheat from the chaff.
Receive my broken, ill-fitting pieces,
bless them with your grace,
and mend me. Make me whole again.
Take my little faith with you to the cross;
in your dying let me die, and raise me new,
so that not with flawless piety
but with a widened heart, ripened by death,
I may strengthen my siblings.

—April 12, 2019

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