The good thief
On Judgment Day, who will your theories
and opinions impress?
O child of God, will you stand before the throne
as a devout believer or as a man of faith?
Beliefs are straw a desperate man stuffs into a suit of rags,
hoping to keep at bay his dark, circling fears.
A man of faith is empty. His strength comes from another source.
His coat flutters loosely from the crossbeam.
The Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus’ robe
while the real treasure hung nearby, naked and vulnerable.
From another cross, the unrepentant thief railed against heaven
with a bitter tongue.
His logical assertions condemned him to hell.
But, at the last possible moment, the good thief stole paradise.
He called out to his Beloved from a point of utter helplessness.
O child of God, will you go to your Beloved stuffed with worthless notions
or become a man of faith, empty and unafraid?
(from The Garden of Surrender)