It was in the Spring
The Passover had come.
There was feasting in the streets and joy.
But an awful thing
Happened in the Spring –
Men who knew not what they did
Killed Mary’s Boy.
He was Mary’s Son,
And the Son of God was He –
Sent to bring the whole world joy.
There were some who could not hear,
And some were filled with fear –
So they built a cross
For Mary’s Boy
~Langston Hughes “The Ballad of Mary’s Boy” from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
We have had several days of southerly winds trying to break us loose from the vise grip of a tired and dying winter. Yet we are held tightly by our frailties.
Despite the warming trend, I find my strength still waning at the end of a long day. I slipped in the mud trying to gain traction unloading a couple hundred pounds of manure from the wheelbarrow. Landing on my backside, my pants muddied thoroughly, I can choose to laugh or cry.
The baptism of mud is a sacrament of the present moment, reminding me of my need for cleansing grace. So I both laugh and cry.
God is revealed in the awful and glorious moments of my being covered in the soil of earth and the waste of its creatures. He knows I need reminding that I too am dust and to dust shall return.
He knows I am too often wasteful and a failed steward,
so need reminding by landing me in the middle of it.
He knows I need to laugh at myself,
so lands me right on my backside.
He knows I need to cry,
so allows me to feel sore and sorrow.
To be known for who I am
by a God who laughs with me, weeps for me
and groans with the pain I have caused;
I will know
no greater love.
God, as Mary’s boy, conquered the shroud and the rolled away stone,
ending my living for myself, only to die,
and began my dying to self, in order to live.
and that has made all the difference.
When Jesus wept, the falling tear
In mercy flowed beyond all bound.
When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear
Seized all the guilty world around.