The place we fear, abhor, hypothesize.
We will not go there.
Shhh, don’t scare the children.
Is it real?
“Heaven is here.
We whisper under midnight, and we try to sleep.
I drift between consciousness and nothing
With one thought prowling:
Do we know what love is worth?
That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones.
We strive and fight.
Clean our pottery, dust off our feet,
While death claws at our bowels from the inside out,
Every human heart,
Roman, Jew, Gentile.
He went through it all – was put to death and then made alive – to bring us to God.
We could be the people Noah left behind
In water-logged prison.
I could be the thief pinned up
Next to the King of the Jews.
You could be he Centurion.
He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgement because they wouldn’t listen.
We go about our day like the people of later.
Never knowing death awaits.
Shhh, you stir. Pretend like nothing is happening.
We watch the spectatorship. We live the blackness as bedfellows.
Ash coats our lungs.
Do we hear? Should we?
They wouldn’t listen.
Will we recognize love in a world so temporal?
Could the blaspheming prophet be the One?
Are we ordinary folk even allowed to know such mysteries?
Speak not of such things.
The rumble comes.
Are we listening?
Our legs shake atop terra firma.
Oblivious to the clues, we toil on.
Cook fish, sweep floor, draw water.
You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact – saved from the water by the water.
Are we so unlike the Jews
Who look to the prophesied Messiah to save them?
They cry out for deliverance from Rome.
We, from utopian convenience.
I hear weeping in my dreams.
I see blood and bones breaking.
It is beginning, do you think?
What is happening?
I am shaking.
The sky cowers o’er us, hour upon hour.
Are you afraid?
We hear it, on earth and below.
Even the dead will awake to such a roar!
I see spectres: holy people emerging from caves and graves.
The end comes.
Have you heard of this? A near-death experience!
Like the wild man baptizing. I saw him raise people from water.
The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience.
A man with wholey hands reaches out to me.
“Come, follow me.
Fear not the water.
Fear not the death.
Call me “Hashem.’
‘Once and everlasting king.”’
You are god!
‘The Lion of Judah.’
I proclaim above and below.
Do you hear?
“Neither nail nor hell can hold Me.
You saw the spear from your rooftop.
You saw the cross.
Arise from your sleep!
Tend to your heart.
You cannot save yourself.
I live. I roar.
Hear me, all you who drowned in the flood,
You whose lungs are filling with your own bile and blood
I will step forth from the cave,
“I AM the last word on everything,
from angels to armies. I AM right beside God.
What He says goes.
Heaven cannot be hushed away
Ignored out of existence
Mock it, despise it,
Theorize it, theologize it.
I AM cares.
I AM bled.
I AM lives.”
He lives: that’s what I dreamt.
My heart beats peace. My hands open to heaven.
Eyes flutter. Sun rises. Earthquake is over.
Dawn pushes back the black.
I rise from bed,
Gather up my grave clothes, oil drips from my body.
I was baptized in the night.
Christina Hubbard is a poet who writes memoir. Her work has appeared at (in)courage and Proverbs 31. She cares for writers as a group leader through Compel Training. A wife and mom to two creative kids, Christina dreams big and believes words can change hearts and, ultimately, alter eternity. She loves doing yoga in the sun, reading heady books, and burying her face in flowers. Find her at CreativeandFree.com.