Saint Judas by James Wright
When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began.
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten.
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.
What character in all of scripture is more reviled than Judas Iscariot? (Pontius Pilate? King Herod?) I love the way this poem challenges me to consider a strange possibility-that a person who is beyond redemption can still choose to do good. I wonder about people who feel that they are lost, unredeemable. Do they choose to be kind, to be merciful, to be good? If there is no hope of eternal reward (or earthly reward for that matter), why be good? Why be kind?
So, this is my last post on Times and Seasons. Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you, and for all of your comments. If I’ve learned anything about my experience here, it is that blogging is a lot harder than it looks! Some of my most brilliant ideas for blog topics sound so blah and boring when I write them out (which probably says more about my ideas and my writing skills than anything else).
Anyway, I’ve also learned that there are some really great people out there in blogland. And while I may not agree with some of the opinions expressed here, it is wonderfully edifying to read well reasoned, thoughtful responses to difficult questions; something rare in daily discourse.
May The Lord bless you and keep you.