reflection on the suffering

by Zach Kincaid
It’s heavy; I don’t know if I can bear it; the whips are driving into my back; my feet are sore; beneath me the riveting rocks press in; my eyes sting from the sweat; I am hot; I am cold. “Why don’t you save yourself?” jeers someone close to me from the lynch mob that has surrounded me. Father even now forgive them. May this, even this mess, fulfill your justice and call your own to yourself; I am the landowner’s son; I am the sheep led to the slaughter; I am caught in this storm; speed up this parade, this circus; oh, the pain hurts; I see one of ours, someone I know; I will press on; I am hot again; the thorns are piercing and the blood is itching my back, it’s blurring my eyes, and the taste fills my mouth; a kind soul, I know him. He is Simon. Thank you for carrying, thank you for caring, breaking your back for the son of God; this is why God gave you arms; I don’t feel my legs; I am numb; they continue to whip me. Continue to forgive them. Another of ours…she gives me a towel. I can see now; she has healed me; it’s too much; I have to stop for a moment; I’m so thirsty; I am shivering cold; the children are seeking refuge from my sight in their mother’s arms; the guards pull me up from the dirt; the ground is so peaceful; it too must be alarmed that its creator tramples on it thus. I know you are here; I see now Gabriel in the crowd and Michael beside; thank you for the unseen. I see you and know that your hand is in this Father; I am almost to the high altar; I am trapped in this time of successive moments; they are preparing the cross; I am barren, stripped in the sight of those who once tried to cover themselves in our garden; I have no such covering; I am that lamb; I see no disciples; no, there’s John and Mary; the rest I know do not understand. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do. They ready the spikes. My body is as ice; my throat is dry; the metal slams in; my hands are twitching; my arms stretched; I won’t be able to hold my body up, I haven’t the strength; my head aches against this wood; my hands are now withered; my hands are now leprosied; my feet are weighted; I am being laughed off the stage, front and center. Father, I pray that some may know I love them. It is almost finished dad; my side is open as a womb; I commit my spirit to you in this dark afternoon. The sun has turned red as the ground below me has turned red; I do not feel the agony any longer. Into your hands, the hands that crafted the mountains and keep the seas at bay, into these hands I come.

(I wrote this several years back while visiting a Catholic seminary in Chicago and seeing the stations of the cross lit up by the morning sun which cracked through the stain of the glass and onto the events.)