IS THAT YOU?
(Matthew 25: 31-46)
The jittering snow flakes chase one another
in flight from the knuckles of wind
that sway the abandoned branches of trees
in their inaudible dirge of loss
and scatter the dust that lines the street
where blank windows stare at the gray.
A fragment of newspaper rolls by, revealing and hiding
its jumble of pain under clouds the colour of bruises.
And the torn creation seems to live in the lines
of the face of this solitary woman,
old coat buttoned high and frayed hat pulled hard
on a forehead furrowed with years,
eyelids pinched from the chill of the air
as she shifts, from one hand to the other,
the heavy weight of two bags that might
carry all that she cares about today.
See how carefully she opens her thin wallet
at the counter of the McDonald’s.
How each coin is cradled like a departing child
by wrinkled and shaking fingers.
How, when she lifts her face to yours and you
smile, and she smiles in return of your greeting
something crosses the space between you
like a bridge spanning unseen waters
and across that bridge moves a gentle light,
a glow of kindness, of friendship, of grace.
Is that you in those eyes, O Beloved Redeemer,
in that smile, in that bridge, in that light?
Is that you in the lines on all our weathered faces,
in all our hands that count out life’s coins?
Grant me grace to see you looking back at me
with the love you have for all creation,
to see you, O King, in all of your glory,
beneath the folds of each old hat, worn coat.