Into Your Hands

Into Your Hands April 10, 2020

“Into your hands,” he says. “Into your hands I commit.

Into your hands, I lay my spirit.”

So we lay down too.

Today we lay down and die a little

For the suffering that didn’t go with him.

 

Into his hands we lay the sins of the world.

The crime of every child born hungry

when there is more than enough.

The grief of every mother 

left holding an empty blanket.

 

Into his hands, we lay 

the burning cross, the swinging noose,

the call to build a barricade, a higher wall;

and the empty song of peace that hovers

on the same bitter breeze.

 

Into those hands, streaked with mud

and tears and sweat and blood

we lay our hollow words of atonement,

our certainty that love will fail

unless it is paid in flesh.

 

His hands–torn by our silence,

our fear, our love of comfort and safety–

into his hands, empty in death,

we lay the fullness of our winter hearts

turning our eyes at the end.

 

Our palms laid down; his palms turned up;

both bear our confession, our vain contrition.

His hands full of us; the weight of the weary world

so that even with holes in his hands,

he carries us all.

 

We turn to go; the crumbs of last night’s bread

now a trail from his feet to back home again.

To doors that close and a roof that shelters

and floorboards that know us by name. We go.

But not unburdened.

 

The turning away has its own price to pay;

the laying down, the silence, the giving over…

It costs us.

 

We see now what it is that we carry,

feel now the weight that we hold.

We see now: that into our hands

He laid his spirit.

Into our hands he died.

 

And so we go, but not without heaviness.

Because now we– who know his name

who heard those last suffering words

who witnessed that last breath–

we bear the weight of him.

 

Now we are that body, broken.

Hands and feet and bleeding side.

His last words catch at our throats

as we gather the crumbs from last night’s supper

and we carry him on.

 

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