"Christ with Martha and Maria," Henryk Siemiradzki, 1886, Wikipedia photo.
“Christ with Martha and Maria,” Henryk Siemiradzki, 1886, Wikipedia photo.

I was there from the beginning, as many of us
Were, from his childhood through manhood,
Godly sage, singer of pastoral songs, his words
Poised upon dove’s wings, short lifetime of
Knowing grace, eternal light amongst us, his
Death for our sins, triumphant yet grief-filled,
Blessings for my brother, Lazarus, and for those
Of like faith, who believed in Jesus.

Yes, I speak of Jesus Christ, my lord, who grew
In stature and in wisdom, who loved our God,
His heavenly father as he loved Joseph. I recall
His enlightenment, gradual yet brilliantly attained
By daily studies and prayers, his evening walks
With me and those taken alone, arduous spiritual
Path, reckoning with who he was: brother, son of
Mary and of God the Father.

During our talks together, I sat at his feet, quiet
And attentive, listening to thoughts divine, his
Concerns present and future, secrets shared
with me, Martha of Bethany, enchanted by his
Expressive hands and luminous face, words ex-
Changed in confidence and calm, light of sacred
Flame, enduring moments etched for centuries
Past in my heart and mind.

Such were early years, glorious and enigmatic,
Transformation from learnéd son, throbbing
Prophet’s brow, to self-realization of divinity,
Struggled angst between manly desires and
Celestial voices of higher calling, denial of
Earthly pleasures, acceptance of his fate. This
Is when his sermons began, first few gathered,
Taken by his visions of peace and salvation.

My Lord carefully followed religious teachings,
Urging others follow laws of God and that of
Imposed Roman rule. Accompanied by his twelve,
When Christ spoke at gatherings, he preferred
Rocky places, mounts from which to speak, seats
For weary, near roads for travelers to stop and
Listen, poor and rich alike, all welcome amongst
His ever-growing earthly following flock.

Some thought he was Socrates, great teacher
And philosopher reincarnated, by the way he
Interacted with those who gathered, speaking
And moving amongst sick and injured. To all
Who listened an inner peace was given, touched
By his voice and healing hands, Jesus’ inner
Light shown so exquisitely as evenings and
The spirit descended feather-like upon us all.

For one decade Jesus’ teachings moved the
World, along Mediterranean shores to foreign
Lands until days of darkness fell, punishment
By hands he never harmed by word or deed.
O! Divine anguish, brutal crucifixion, nails
Pounded into bone and flesh, forgiveness he
Prayed for those who killed him, poor soldiers
Who knew Christ only by his execution.

For three days, grief flailed our hearts, our
Families in mortal fear of who Herod may deem
Criminal, arrest on darkest nights. As my Savior
Lay silent in his tomb, we learned that only true
Permanence on earth was love and faith, when
On his twilight path, earth and angels shuttered,
As tumbling clouds eclipsed sunlight, when
Christ Jesus breathed his last.

In retrospect, Christ’s resurrection was more
Than my dear friend rising from the dead, but
Fulfillment of holy prophesy, his atonement for
Our sins, promise of life eternal, wondrous day
To greet my Lord, to prepare meals for him, to
Offer our house as his, rest in humble hospi-
Tality, as recorded in my memory and holy
Scriptures during Eastertime remembrances.

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