Friday, April 19, 2019

Poem: "Take Off Your Shoes"

Put your hands on the toes of another,
The little toes, the stubbed ones and broken,
Pour the fresh waters of spring 
Across their little human valleys.
This is the great commandment:
To fall to the floor, to love on your knees, 

Watch the ripple of surprise in the old woman's eyes,
The way water on the feet provokes sunlight in her face.
Take a fresh towel then, and carefully wipe dry
The resolute soles that have walked
So many bewildering miles.
Then smile too, face to face, a blessing.

For the Dancing Christ, all of this,
Our curled toenails, our ticklish flesh, 
Even our embarrasment, our hesitation:
It's a burning bush in the desert,
It's an alabastar jar of the dearest kind,
And every floorboard is holy ground.

So this is the great commandment:
To touch holiness in the freaky feet
Of neighbors, lovers and adversaries alike.
And tonight this is the challenge of the Dancing Christ:
Are you ready, will you take off your shoes,
And allow me to do the same for you?
Will you be tickled and flustered,
And humbled in the name of Love?

With deep gratitude for the community 
at Saint Gregory's of Nyssa in San Francisco
and their liturgy on Maundy Thursday 2019