Offering

Offering (Barbara Messner c. 2005)

His heart went out to them
and he fed them,
hoping they would recognize:

that the satisfaction of hunger
lies in leaving accustomed
sustenance, and waiting for him
to come amongst them, waiting
in the open, in emptiness,
needing to meet him and share
whatever may be on offer.

People were fed,
but grew greedy
to depend on such providing.
They would have made him king
so they need never hunger again,
although need had brought them
there, where abundance was possible.

His heart went out to them
and he fed them,
offering self-emptying openness,
offering his very being, and hoping.

His heart went out to them
and he healed them,
hoping they would recognize:

that awareness of weakness
is the only strength required –
to desire enough to reach out
to the hem of his garments,
or call out to him by the wayside,
to be lowered to him through a crowd,
or singled out by him in the synagogue.

People were healed,
but grew greedy
to claim the power of restoration.
They would have made him king
so they need never hurt again,
although pain had brought them
there, where wholeness was possible.

His heart went out to them
and he healed them,
offering suffering compassion,
offering his very being, and hoping.

His heart went out to them
and he taught them,
hoping they would recognize:

that space is needed for growth,
and hollowness for listening,
inwardly, for the word, proclaimed
or silent, for the hallowed name
above every name, which is
unpronounceable, and yet a word
on every baby’s babbling lips.

People were taught,
but grew greedy
to possess and regulate the word.
They would have made him king
so they need never wander again,
although wondering had brought them
there, where wisdom was possible.

His heart went out to them
and he taught them,
offering receptive silence,
offering his very being, and hoping.

His heart went out to them
and he died for them,
hoping they would recognize:

that life rises up, reborn
from the tomb of emptiness,
from the space of utter abandonment,
where blood is poured out
and flesh broken open,
and the seeds of life thrown down
where the harvest might well be lost.

People were saved,
but grew greedy
to be spared the loss of dying.
They would have made him king
so they need never fail again,
although surrender had brought them
there, where resurrection was possible.

His heart went out to them
and he died for them,
offering body and blood,
offering his very being, and hoping.

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