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Friday 2nd April Good Friday


Writing anything about Good Friday always feels like treading on holy ground. I don’t feel

we can begin to understand it from Jesus’ perspective. So today a trio of poems from people

stood there.

Mary Magdalene (Mark 15:40)

I’d met him

When all hope was gone.

Each day

Dragging myself

Through meaningless routines

Whilst inside

Soul wracked

With constant pain

The past a prison

The present numb repetition

The future bleak

Every moment

Feeling only lost

And alone in the dark.


He only touched me once.

I stood,

Eyes to the ground

Ashamed of all I’d done -

And was -

And gently

He lifted my chin

So I could

Meet his gaze.


I could not name then

What I saw there

So unfamiliar.

I’ve learnt now

To give it words

But then there were none.


I only knew

That all I was

And could be

Was held in his eyes:

Not what I’d done

Or hadn’t done

But the person he saw

Beneath the smiling death

My life had become.


And so I loved him.

And stand here now

Only because of that.

Enduring his darkness

As once he did mine

And will do

To the end.


John at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-27)

I blame myself.

Standing here, holding her up,

What else can I do?


I feel the anger, the self-hatred rising

Like bile to my throat:

Better that than the pain,

The crucifying pain

As I watch him,

My best friend.


Some friend I was.

I should have stopped it.

Stopped them.

Stopped him.

Stopped…

Instead I stand here

Impotent with rage and agony

Wanting to reach up,

Pull him down

So I can lie again

On his breast

And feel the heart beat

Of his love.


And then I meet his eyes

And, amid the anguish

And the isolation

That I sense

In his soul

I hear his words

And see that love again.

I feel that I have never deserved it less

Or known it more.


The Roman centurion (Mark 15:39)

Welcome

Was an unfamiliar experience.

Fear - a cowering

Not so much from me

As from what

I represented –

Was what I saw

As people drifted into doorways

Or passed by,

Eyes to the ground

Lest they catch

My unwelcome attention.


And that seemed enough.

Somehow apprehension

Or the curled lip of a sneer

Better than no recognition

And the dread

Of seeming

Non-existence

In the eyes of others.


And so it was that day.

Mothers held their children close;

No-one met my eyes

Except the foolish few

Who stared

With arrogant hostility.

Even the crucified

Looked neither for pity from me

Nor mirrored my curiosity

Of them

Being long past either.


And then I looked again

Expecting to see

Another brigand Jew -

Some thief or rebel

And I cared not which.

Yet as I caught his eye

I saw what I had

Never seen before:

A tender knowing

of all I had been,

all I had despairingly become

but somehow also all

I ‘d ever longed to be.

And as I gazed

I realised -

An agony of recognition –

His arms

Stretched out upon that cross

Were held open to me

In welcome.


By Jeannie Kendall

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