The miracle

The crowd swirled

Around the shabby preacher,

His robes dusty, much mended,

His sandals worn

By miles on stony roads.

We pushed forwards,

Seeking to breathe his air,

Hear his compelling voice

Speak of hope,

Of justice,

Of God’s unfailing love,

To touch this prophet,

Know him real.

 

The sick, deformed,

Possessed

Crept closer

Through small ebbs

As the crowd

Flinched away

To avoid defilement.

 

We pressed closer,

Strengthened by desperation,

By hope of another miracle,

The dream that it could happen

To us.

We mobbed around him,

Shoving and clamouring,

Like beggars

For the last coin.

 

His quiet voice

Cut short our scramble,

Our pleadings,

Stilled our pawing hands,

Our desperation.

“Who touched me?”

His friend protested,

Someone laughed,

But he insisted.

 

A ragged woman

Fell before him,

Confessed

Her twelve-year bleeding,

Her foulness,

Her outcast life,

Her clutch at his robe

A final act of hope.

She looked up at him,

Huge-eyed

With astonishment,

Devotion,

Said she was healed,

And wept.

 

He smiled then,

With inexpressible love,

Love older than stars,

With a child’s spontaneous joy,

With a mother’s tenderness.

“Daughter,

Your faith has healed you.

Go in peace.”

 

Later, I hobbled home,

Unhealed,

My body unchanged,

But my heart transformed,

My soul overwhelmed

By the preacher’s smile,

Knowing my miracle was harder:

To make that smile,

That moment,

Sustain a lifetime.

 

SIA 5 iv 2014

 

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