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by David Sparenberg
2022-09-25 07:14:58
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Standing in the hush of the nave, I looked at him.  The gentle beauty of his face all but ruined by extraordinary suffering, the long enduring of extreme pain.  His large, dark, emotionally expressive eyes penetrated flesh and bone.

Words fail before what humbles the soul and leaves a witness forever questioning.  It is difficult beyond reason to be before a survivor of atrocity and to know what could, what should, what can be said, and what cannot.

Somehow, I found voice and asked, “After so much is taken, so many seeking to be excused from themselves, expecting a miracle, what is your need?  What do you hope for, or should I say, what is your prayer?”

For an instant, a flickering of light, that had once burned brilliantly, returned to his sorrowing eyes, a surge of vitality shone on his small, brown face.  “For me?” he began as a long sigh sounded and lingered, fading slowly into the vast space.  He said, “Take me down from the cross.  Let me again join the circle dance, where drums and pipes are sweetly melodious and lively, and within the round, children, in their purity of childhood innocence, play.”

Here he stopped.  We stood together in the silent cathedral.  My head bowed and tears welled in my eyes.  At sight of my pain, he added. “Do this for me, for us. And when it is done, everything will have happened that was ever meant to happen.”


David Sparenberg is author of CONFRONTING the CRISIS: Essays & Meditations on Eco Spirituality in the Earth Spirit Series (Moon Books).  An international essayist and eco-poet, David lives in Seattle, WA in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

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