Kaleidoscope: the Crucifixion as viewed by the Bystander

We asked a myriad of voices to engage with the crucifixion as if they were one of the characters present and write from that perspective. We gathered last week for an amazing collective of perspectives that ranged from a diverse, colorful, eclectic group of people gazing at the cross. We will post each character and their angle as we approach Easter. Enjoy!


Kaleidoscope graphic


You, the one who hangs so gracefully on a cross overhead,
Took my gnarled hands and spoke beauty into them once.
Your gift placed tender in my palms, a weight I will miss though it was soft and fragile.
It is because of my impatience for the world you described that you hang here now.
Once your words painted hope on my scars, I no longer held my identity secure in my hands,
but was torn between a known and certain past, and an idealistic future.
Carpenter, your words promised hope and life, yet days passed and still I remained in a city of lost dreams, sitting in newly confused perceptions.
My nights were spent praying for change,
For some wind that might blow me from these streets of filth.
But you, Carpenter,
Were all that came.
You must understand, I am as lost as a lamb in the wild,
My reality one of tangible shame,
The kind you can hold in your hands, turn over, and wear like tarnished skin.
You said to be still, to have faith that the wolves would not come,
That their teeth would not cut deep,
That the ways of this world could be changed,
Yet here you lay in the jaws of the tyrant himself.
Why leave your power in the sea?
You have no place among these deadened souls,
Their crimes tangible as particles in this thick air, this diseased world.
No, your crimes hold not a stone to their destruction,
The destruction you wrought, not of law but of grace.
Yet here in the crackling stillness of this haunted mount you cry out with the question of my heart,
The insistent silence our only answer.
Do you still not see?
When men in high places began talk of death, I had no choice but to run like the rest of your accusers, though they’ve now gone from this place to numb their guilt.
Perhaps on this desperate night you will finally know the trite emptiness of the world you claim to save.
No matter the spark around us, once on banks and in fields,
I could no longer blindly believe the beauty with which you spoke.
The golden hours of teaching and dreaming have come to their inevitable end,
Never enough to fend the growling thieves of darkness.
The truth of my part in your end gnaws in the pits of my stomach.
It was me who burrowed nails in flesh,
Me who hung hope on a tree,
No longer any comfort in my empty hands,
Only soured wine,
Stained and running like the blood from your breaking human body.
Do you not see the state of your abandon?
In this moment, death is suffocating you,
The weight of undeserved accusation drawing the last breathe from your lungs,
Dear Carpenter,
Let yourself be rid of my dry bones.
Beauty has abandoned you here.

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