The Bleeding Christ

A poem for when we feel lost and unheard by God.
God bless,
Morgan
 
“In his [Jesus’s] anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44 NRSV)
 
“The Bleeding Christ”
 
I follow the bleeding Christ
who did not get the deliverance He prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Stepping away from His last free moment,
He met the stab of betrayal.
He took the wound freely
and bled loss, despair, questions, pain, and humanity.
Hanging on the cross alone, He did not get His answers, and they say
the sun turned black.
I think I know what that looks like.
“What is resurrection?” I ask atop Golgotha.
 
Answers do not live on Golgotha but in the hard path forward.
On my way, I have found stubborn, fighting, compassionate, longing love
bursting from darkness to the clarity of life.
Passing on the passion, Christ rose from defeat into eternity in us.
 
I follow the bleeding Christ.
He carried on when He did not get answers, and so will I.
I follow because resurrection is the other side of my grave of pain.
Resurrection will be change. I will not be made again as I was before,
but I will be whole.
 
 
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The Bleeding Christ by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Below the Cross

I wrote this while reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday and His incredible strength and courage in the face of such pain and evil. By His grace, that strength is in us as well.

God bless,
Morgan

“Below the Cross”
 
for a mere moment
my eyes fall shut on the crowds below.
shouts and jeers rush into the darkness,
a surge of oily hatred.
I rally and force my bruised eyelids
back open and see a sea of enemies
that I love,
for whom I hang by
bloody wrists pinned to wood
by long, black nails.
 
they shove sponges of vinegar into
my parched mouth and bid me
save myself.
but oh, my little lost ones, I did not come
to save myself.
I cannot come down.
My mission looks bleak in the face of
hundreds of sharp eyes glaring from
the ground of the Skull.
i have walked among these people, healed
their sick, held their children, taught
their hearts truth,
but darkness stands tall and gruesome in this
late hour.
 
sagging, choking on my own weight and
the burdens one by one mounting on top
of my whipped shoulders with every call of
Crucify him I
keep my eyes open and
I tell you, children, though you cannot see
in the black hell you have summoned here,
I tell you I am stronger
than your malice and your fear.
for in losing all I have, I gain your freedom
by the name of grace abundant.
 
as you hear my dying cries, listen,
for I am crying that I love you.
Though in darkness you see me leave today
I will be back for you,
my little ones
at the foot of my cross.
 
 
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Below the Cross by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Carpenter’s Hands

Hi everyone,
 
Happy Easter! I recently returned from a week-long mission trip to Crisfield, Maryland where I worked with a wonderful, inspired team to help with relief from Hurricane Sandy. The damage in Crisfield is extensive, but in a week we were able to make a big difference fixing homes and giving many weary people new hope to press on.
 
This poem is a reflection on the work we did in Crisfield and is also inspired by the sermon by Pastor Todd Hurley at Asbury United Methodist Church, where we went for Palm Sunday service. He preached about our hands and how we should think about what kind of work they ought to be doing and how often they hold the Bible to read.
 
The poem was also inspired by our nightly devotionals. No matter how the day at the worksites had gone, we always took the time to share how we saw God that day in each other, in our environment, or in the people we met – we never ran out of ways that we saw Him working.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 

“Carpenter’s Hands”
 
The raging storm ebbed away
months ago now.
Down along the shore
you see
buildings missing walls, floors, windows
sitting and waiting in marshy yards
as the cold winds of March
try to rattle their last strength out of them.
     you see
     wounded homes. 
 
but it is not all there is to see,
     for we see with new eyes
        opened by God’s Spirit in us,
    and amidst the aftermath
we see
hands gripping hammers, saws, screwdrivers 
hands lifting walls back into place
hands pounding in nails, fitting floors,
    wiping soot-streaked walls white,
    clearing out the broken for the new
hands writing cards to those who feel forgotten
hands steadying those shaken by the storm 
hands that hold and hands that are held.
 
now look even closer
you will see
the touch of a gentle, wise carpenter
guiding each working hand
to build as He did.

 
 
 
Creative Commons License
Carpenter’s Hands by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.