Sleight of Hand

Luke 14:1-6…..On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?’ But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?’ And they could not reply to this.

  Jesus accepts their invitation 
 to dine
 as though he were not
 walking into the jaws of a trap.
 Ready to love
 always ready
 to eat the food of his detractors,
 metabolize their suspicion
 into compassion. 
 He knows how
 little boys who play in the streets
 lose their native joy
 at the feet of their elders.
 The guest directs their attention
 to a man crippled by
 his swollen limbs,
 as ignorant of their careful constructs
 as they are of his pain,
 and heals him.
 The magician 
 snatches their protestations
 from the air,
 and opens his hand
 where there appears a cool,
 damp rag.
 He offers it 
 like a mother
 to wipe away the crust
 of judgment 
 from around the mouths
 of their little-boy faces,
 rendering them silent.   

2 thoughts on “Sleight of Hand

  1. Wonderful imagery. Thank you. I especially appreciate the image of Jesus like a gentle mother wiping the crust of judgement from the mouths of the critics, not in judgement but in healing and in compassion.


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