Those who went ahead and those who followed
             were shouting, “Hosanna!

             Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Holy One!”
                        —Mark 11.9

Barefoot, rag-bound, the shambles of a crowd,
babies on hips, and wounds and knives under cloaks,
we shuffle in. We cry out.
Our lives have ended up like the little bits
at the bottom of coat pockets: fragments, leftovers, shreds,
staggered hopes, fractured possibilities,
bumbled and doomed.
Smutted and smattered, guilty and longing,
we wave our palms in sweaty palms.
Yes, our prayers will soon turn sour,
branches, like praise, soon trodden.
Smug, having seen us five days later, you may scoff.
But friends, your prayers, even the finest, are no better.
This is the best we do.
Limping boldly under the emperor’s soldiers’ gaze,
for a moment we see a different kind of hope,
a different kind of king.
Here, for a moment, our cry to be saved is real.
Hosanna: Not “Hooray!” But “Save us, we beg you!”
Yes, we will soon be frightened of our own vision
and flee to the safety of the old headlines and the usual suspects,
nails and hammer waiting.
We know. We cry with hollow praise, yes—
to be saved from our hollowness,
from the infection of our very hosannas.
Even though we don’t know how to ask,
and are too afraid to receive,
please, save us anyway, we beg you, save us.
Hosanna in the highest.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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