Articles/Essays – Volume 55, No. 3

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Listen to the audio version here.

When I was a child
I entered baptismal waters
with one pair of folded hands
and rose up, one with hosts
of linked fingers weaving nets
for catching burdens—

for bearing the weight
of doubts and doubters.

I know the Shepherd
counts each woolly head,
knows each bleating cry,
loves us even when wonder
leads us to wander
beyond ordained fences.

Surely every wounded
sheep is cradled and carried
home, washed with the same
gentle, wounded hand.

Do the others lean their soft,
musky bodies against the lost
one’s side, warm
breath mingling
in the night’s air?

Lawyers sit at court, twisting
statutes, wresting loopholes.
Can’t He who confounded
their bladed questions,
conjured every sheltered alcove
from the dust of stars,
make space for every facet
of His love, reflected in us?

Zion is not a place
where we will whisper
murky judgments from closed

Light will pierce every spirit,
soul-motes glittering
like dust in a window.

We will know how we’ve been carried,
how our hands have been wiped clean.

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