Sunday, 28 February 2010

For John Paul

For John Paul

The old Father said to me
'Don't you want to share
in the suffering of the world'
I thought for a moment and then replied
'I didn't know I was'
he replied sharply
'Well you are and be thankful'

He then stood up went over to a cupboard
and began to rummage through it

I began to think how selfish I was
for expecting a carefree life
in the midst of a world of suffering

He reappeared with an old Bible
thumbed through it and tore out a page
then walked out of the room
and down the hall toward the front door
I hurried after him
he opend the door and I stepped outside
he handed me the page
'Read this when you get home'- He said
'this is where you'll find Christ'
Then he stuck his head around the door
and said - 'I'll pray for you tonight'
'Thank you' I blurted out
to the closing door

Feeling disappointed I made my way home

The next morning
finding the page in my pocket
I sat on my bed and began to read it
This is what it said

I was hungry
and you gave me food
I was thirsty
and you gave me a drink
I was a stranger
and you made me welcome
I was in rags
and you gave me clothes
I was ill
and you came and took care of me
I was in prison
and you came to see me there
I was despised
and you showed me respect

And in that moment it became clear to me
that the suffering of Christ
and the suffering of humanity
are indivisible and ongoing

In the afternoon
I went back to see the old Father
He answered the door
'I've got it' - I said
'I know what you mean'
He opened the door wider
and gestured with his hand
for me to come in
walking into the hall - I said
'You must have prayed for me right enough'
'I did ' he replied
'I prayed for you all night'

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