Waiting 5: Rahab

Woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1860, Wikimedia Commons
They seldom ask why the men were there.
As they slipped down the wall, I thought:
Just as it's always been,
the men sliding away to their homes,
the shame slipping off their well-oiled skin.
Nothing touched them.
They would take their promised land just like they always had;
mine would be the leftovers,
mine the scarlet thread left dangling mid-air.

Only, as the walls shook like a pounding heart and
amidst this trumpeting change of the guards I caught
my breath and whispered, We're done for,
I found
my legs still standing, my
blood still pounding, my family
still about me, though all
Jericho fell in a mighty gasp,

and weak
though a scarlet thread was in such a blast,
it held me, bound me, and in that impossible instant I saw,
while stone crumpled
to sand to rubble to dust,
I saw

multitudes here,
beyond my sight, my time,
spread like a desert, like sand,
running, crawling, limping, reaching
grabbing like I grabbed,
clutching like I clutched,
at this scarlet grace dangling
its chance at life.

Now I live among them,
have learnt their wild, sea-parting stories,
have seen their virtues, their shames,
learnt the way grace drops like rain,
washing away, never denying, shame.
The scarlet hangs still, where I first placed it.
Feeble and flimsy the way to life often is,
scarlet the blood of mercy
coursing through our feeble veins.

Published by Matthew Pullar

Teacher, writer, blogger, husband, father, Christian. Living in Wyndham in Melbourne's west, on the land of the Kulin Nation. Searching for words to console and feed hearts and souls.

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