You keep talking about dying, Jesus;

about how life is found

not by white-knuckled clinging;

but by a prodigal losing.


We nod and smile, and ponder the deep significance of these words,

and then, with a slow sigh of relief,

we go back to our life-preservers;

our safe, protected worlds;

our well-sheltered, comfortable spirituality;

and we turn our eyes away from those who reach out to us,

those we could touch with Your life,

if only we would take the risk.


What were you thinking, Jesus?

Surely faith is about finding life,

not laying it down?

Surely we need to follow You in order to be sure

that life doesn’t end when we die?

There’ll be no dying today, Jesus – not if we can help it.

And if your promise is to be believed;

no dying at all – ever.


If only we could keep away the images of those others,

the different, the lonely, the misunderstood, and the forgotten,

the hungry, the abused, the least;

the ones in whose eyes we glimpse, in unguarded moments,

the outline of Your face;

the ones in whose silence we hear a sound,

not unlike Your voice,

inviting us to carry a cross.