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.

2 thoughts on “a word of need, #5”

  1. 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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