Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Nine Verse Two

In light of this past Sunday’s reading, this morning’s devotion is a poem by Mark […]

Ethan Richardson / 2.8.16

In light of this past Sunday’s reading, this morning’s devotion is a poem by Mark Jarman, entitled “Transfiguration.” These are the last three parts of the poem.

And there appeared to them Elijah and Moses and they were talking to Jesus.

…They were talking to him about law and how lawgiving should be
Like rainfall, a light rain falling all morning and mixing with dew–
A rain that passes through the spiderweb and penetrates the dirt clod
Without melting it, a persistent, suffusing shower, soaking clothes,
Making sweatshirts heavier, wool stink, and finding every hair’s root on the scalp.
And that is when you hurled judgment into the crowd and watched them
Spook like cattle, reached in and stirred the turmoil faster, scarier.
And they were saying that; to save the best, many must be punished,
Including the best. And no one was exempt, as they explained it,
Not themselves, not him, or anyone he loved, anyone who loved him.

Take anyone and plant a change inside them that they feel
And send them to an authority to assess that feeling. When they are told
That for them alone these waits a suffering in accordance with the laws
Of their condition, from which they may recover or may not,
Then they know the vortex on the mountaintop, the inside of the unspeakable,
The speechlessness before the voices begin talking to them,
Talking to prepare them, arm them and disarm them, until the end.
And if anybody’s looking, they will seem transfigured.

I want to believe that he talked back to them, his radiant companions,
And I want to believe he said too much was being asked and too much promised.
I want to believe that that was why he shone in the eyes of his friends,
The witnesses looking on, because he spoke for them, because he loved them
And was embarrassed to learn how he and they were going to suffer.
I want to believe he resisted at that moment, when he appeared glorified,
Because he could not reconcile the contradictions and suspected
That love had a finite span and was merely the comfort of the lost.
I know he must have acceded to his duty, but I want to believe
He was transfigured by resistance, as he listened, and they talked.