How Jesus Gives a Damn about our Suffering: A Maundy Thursday Poem

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first time I celebrated Easter as something more than bunnies and colored eggs was in 1973. I’d become a Jesus Freak in the summer of ’72. That following spring, a friend and I attended the Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks Amphitheater. I watched in awe as the new born sun illuminated the Denver city skyline, shadows scurried away from the soft light, reflections glinted off tall glass buildings, golden beams fingered through bare tree branches, the ancient red rocks surrounding us were rebirthed in reds and golds. And my heart burst with hope. The purple, gold, and red thread cutting the jagged skyline stirred in me an assurance that no matter my pain over the loss of my father, my own health and addiction problems, my confusion about life, in Christ I had more before me than behind. I realized Jesus gave a damn about my pain and suffering.

Fifty some years later I glance back and see that there was truth in my first Easter Son Rise.

Later I read about what some call the scarlet thread of redemption that runs through so many stories in the Bible: The promise of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is a red thread of hope from Genesis through Abraham, Ruth, David, Esther, Anna,  and to me and you.

In life God Incarnate would have red blood course his veins, in death he would spill it for us, and in resurrection fulfill the Father’s promise to redeem us body, blood, and soul.

For Holy Week this year I wrote a Trilogy of poems, The Woman Who Touched Him: Life, Mary’s Loss: Death, and Mary Magdalene: Resurrection to show how that thread ran through and touched and transformed three remarkable but also ordinary women. Today’s is the story of the woman who suffered for twelve years. Until she met Jesus!

I’ve posted each poem below in two forms: As Spoken Word Poetry and a written version. Listen or read or listen and read.

Please let me know how the scarlet thread of redemption has run though your life!  

The Woman Who Touched Him: Life

The Woman Who Touched Him: Read by L. S. Hawker

A rutted tear rivers down

My cheek

Trailing dirt and pain

In its wake.

A red thread quivers down

My thigh

Bearing death and dread

In its life.

Twelve years these two

Have traced.

Blood and tears

In deadly race.

Priest, doctor, rabbi all

Failed to dam

My bloody flow

Instead damned 

Am I.

“Tumat niddah,” they wail.

“Unclean blood!” became

My name.

No husband, no children

Draw near.

No help, no hope

I fear.

Until he came.

Rumored 

To bear the

Dred.

To heal,

Raise the dead.

I wait now

Hope in hand

Along prayer pocked 

Road

To Jerusalem.

My eyes

Catch

Sandal dust

Flash in

Dying sun.

There he strode

The Chosen One. 

Head bowed

Crowd bound.

Blood and

My heartbeat

Quickened.

Strength drained.

Hope waned.

At his

Tread

In awesome

Dread

I pressed

My tunic 

Tight to 

Thigh.

By faith

I draw

Into his

Stream.

“Tumat niddah,”

They scream.

And part like 

Sea of Red 

At Moses’

Command.

Again

I’m damned.

Clothed in

White and red

Tassel laden

Rabbi robe,

He yet

Raises hope.

I stretch out

Blood stained

Hand

For this

Holy man.

A blow to

My back

Drives me down.

Fingers swipe

Only his 

Gown.

Air, hope,

A prayer

“Master, heal!”

Escapes

My gritted 

Teeth.

The crowd flows on.

I rise alone

Tear

On cheek

Blood

On thigh

Miraculously

Run dry.

“Who touched me?”

The Master said.

“Surely you jest!”

One beside him

Chides.

The Master 

Turns.

Brown eyes

Find mine.

“Twas me,”

I confess.

Fingers taut

As only faith

Can hold.

I proffer tassel 

Torn from 

His robe.

Bound with 

One red

Thread.

“Daughter,

Your faith

Has healed you.

Go in peace,”

He said.

From Luke 8:43-56

L. S. Hawker is a good friend, fellow Jesus Freak, and bestselling thriller author.

4 thoughts on “How Jesus Gives a Damn about our Suffering: A Maundy Thursday Poem”

  1. Sandy Seckel

    Eugene—
    You continue to amaze!
    Happy Easter to you and yours,
    Sandy

  2. I loved hearing the poem read by your friend!

    Love the new look of your website too.

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