a word of need, #5

From a sonnet cycle, based on the seven sayings of the cross.

Later, knowing that all was completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
John 19:28-29

We know there was cheap wine, a sponge, a stick—
and sometimes Roman soldiers offered it
to men whose dusty throats were choked with blood,
much too weak and parched to even spit.
So perhaps there was a stranger in the crowd
who, puzzled at the anger of the mob
(or perhaps a Galilean Christ had healed),
was moved by Mary’s soft and anguished sobs.
But someone braved the jokes and jabs and jeers
who knew the Living Water had run dry;
he turned and quickly ran to find the wine
after leaning close enough to hear Christ cry.
“I am thirsty” was a simple, anguished need.
And love is not a word. It is a deed.

©2001, Wally Metts
“Easter illustration”, limited edition wood print by Bill Bippes, acquired 2001. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

2 Responses to “a word of need, #5”

  1. “And love is not a word. It is a deed.”


  2. Powerful. That final line also hit me hard. I am late in reading this, due to the hecticness of the holiday but glad I didn’t miss it. In a way, it compliments a poem of my mother’s that I posted on my blog for Good Friday.

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