I was afraid . . . and I hid
(Genesis 3; Matt. 25)

The old habit dies hard,

the fear that drives one

like a hare, hunted, pursued

by God-only-knows what terror,

darkened shadow, lurking nightmare.

I was afraid, Adam said, because I was naked.

Vulnerable, exposed, like the soft clay he once was

before the great hand scooped mud from mud,

molding in intricate detail the figure of humanity.

Oh Adam, God sighed.  God’s hands hung low and lifeless,

weary, at the great heaving sides, heart-broken,

heavy.  Adam’s flesh tingled at
the sight of those hands,

at the thought of their touch, but he mistook his own body’s

longing for fear and later, his descendants would do the same

when God came, clothed in flesh and mud and walked among them,

the great hands hidden in human form.

I was afraid, the servant
said, his one talent held in an outstretched,

shaking hand.  I knew you were a harsh man . . . so I hid. 

Memory played the scene as he spoke, the anxious weight

of the coin in his hand, the feeling that it watched – the master

watched – through the coin’s cold, unblinking eye.  The waiting

and absence, the dread – too much to bear.  In the dark

of night, he fled carrying the coin’s shining light into darkness where

still the moon caught and glimmered on gold.  Half-crazed, he dug

with bare hands, a hole.  It was
not the coin he wanted to hide,

but himself.  Bits of clay and
dirt clung to his hands, lodged under

his fingernails, the damp earth clung, claiming him as its own.

Rising and walking after the deed, dirt stuck to his clothes, his

Still the coin’s light shone in his mind’s eye, the pursuing light

pressing after him even in the darkness.     

We are a people forever misinterpreting the light, the presence,

for we are afraid and so we hide. 
Still, God pursues.  The words,

Where are you? echo,
reverberating, as God, the great, love-sick lover,

with hands as gentle as they are wide, seeks we who are his own. 

Photo Source.

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