Moments before an almighty blunder –
No, Lord, you will not die; don’t talk of such things;
Or words to that effect, the pride
Of the day’s wisdom giving rise
To thoughts that he knows better than
The one whom he has just confessed –
Before that, a striking second of clarity;
Sight to pierce the veil sitting
Over everyone else’s eyes.
The knowledge, spoken with his mouth
And yet not coming from his mind,
Not quite dictated but not far off.
The question: What about you, Peter?
Who do you say that I am?
And then the answer: years of hopes
And prophecies and wildest dreams
Flung like stars into his mind:
You are the Christ, the Son of God.
And yet the moment does not last.
The truth he speaks sits somewhere just
Beyond his mind’s faint grasping power,
Cluttered with his expectations,
All he thinks that words must mean, and
The thought that Christs aren’t meant to die.
Even on the mountain-top, truth
Blazing right before his eyes,
He will miss the point, like we would,
Were we there. And yet the truth
Does not fall when we fail to grasp it;
It grasps us and holds us firm.
Lord who spoke to Peter’s mind;
Jesus who declared him Rock
In the face of his wobbling faith:
Take us who confess You Lord,
Though our minds scarcely receive it;
Take our folly – make us rock.