At the foot of the cross

The body of the woman floating down the Rio Grande,
child in her arms, not her own, but whom she had pledged
to carry to safety.

The girl in Afghanistan, wondering if she will have a boyfriend
before she is raped.

The Indonesian boy, maybe 13, enslaved, laboring in the bowels
of the shrimp factory far at sea, who hasn’t seen his family,
or land, in two years.

The black man, strapped by the incomprehensible
to the gurney behind the prison glass.

If you don’t kneel and bow your forehead to the ground
before them, you haven’t yet been to the foot of the cross.

Pierced by the suffering of the innocent,
and your part in it, and meeting the divine there,
you behold the cross.

When you kneel, you kneel, you bow,
but it is God who draws your forehead to the ground.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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