The Lonely Road (For the Conversion of St Paul)

But first your companions will not understand you.
Though they stand with you on the Damascus Road
They won’t see what you can see:
A blinding light, descending scales,
An arrow pointing where you must go.

What, they wonder, has taken Saul?
It’s time that we were getting on.

The same purpose had burned in them, yet they
Cannot see the light you see
Nor know the voice that calls you now.

Take their arms; they will walk with you,
Though they shake their heads in wonder
And will leave you, I suspect, once you
Have lost the scales and changed your name;
They won’t walk this new road with you.

There are new arms to receive you:
Hands laid on you in prayer from those
Whom days before you swore to kill;
A body now to take you in
Which once you kicked against.

The road you will walk is lonely;
You must learn how much you will
Suffer for His name. But feel
These praying hands now placed on you;
Feel the scales drop from your eyes.

Perhaps you see then flashes of
The lonely road that you must walk,
Descending from the city walls
Of places where they seek your blood.
You will know all that soon enough, for sure.

But feel these hands and know these scars;
Know these wounds were born for you.
Though death will chase you, do not fear.
You are made new and have new life,
And you are not your own.

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