(John 1: 29-42)
I remember that first time he spoke to me,
that first day we met him, I and Simon,
how there had been rain just before
and flowers beginning to bloom,
pink, white and yellow opening to the sun,
fragrances fresh on the air and John saying
look over there,
at him, the one God has chosen
to save the world;
how when I walked over, my eyes squinting to
see clearly against the afternoon sun
the first thing he said to me was that one
sharp, knowing question,
“What are you looking for?” –
how there seemed to be a sudden
knot in my tongue, the hundred things
I could have said all stopped in my mouth:
that even as John’s follower I still felt empty,
restless as a breeze on the lake,
impatient with the unchanged world
hard and hurting, with the way life
pressed in with need all around me
as if I were one of the fish caught in my nets;
the heart of me so hungry, so like an unfilled jar,
the mind in me itself a net
being cast in unknown waters, uncertain
even of what answers to seek, what to ask –
the hundred things I could have said
coming out instead as this question:
“Rabbi, where are you dwelling?” Where
can I find you if finally I feel
able to sort through my thoughts, when I can speak
of my aching, my hopes, desperate yearnings?
Where can I find you should John be right
and you the answer for a world so struggling,
so suffering in its separation from God?
Am I able to find you when I am lost
in my wandering, adrift as a boat on the sea?
I remember his smile so wide, warm with welcome,
his hand held out like a bridge to cross.
“Come,” he said.
“Come and see.”
How easy it was to be with him, listening and still,
the knots falling loose in my chest,
the empty jar of my heart beginning to be filled.
How brother had to share it with brother.
And how different all the days ever since.
Copyright © 2014 by Andrew King