“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:31).
Many prayers ascended to God that Spring day,
Calls for fire to hold unjust Death at bay.
A group of women huddled near a cross
On which hung one’s son, what tragic loss
She felt, and they shared, he was their friend,
And for one, a nephew, love without end.
A man watched with them; heart also torn.
He had camped with him, seen many a morn
Wake as the sun broke the horizon,
Listened to him season after season.
They prayed cries of harsh, bitter lament
Salted with faint hope that God would rent
The heavens and liberate his Messiah.
Suddenly, at midday the sun went dark.
The crowds murmured, but jeers hit their mark
Still as passersby scoffed at the dying.
A prayer from the cross, “Father, forgive them,”
Echoed by soldiers whose unease grew
As they watched his dignity in pain.
Lord, we read and we visualize that day,
But cannot know what we would have said,
What we would have cried, would have prayed.
Forgive us, too, when we know not what we do,
When our confession falters, does not ring true.
- by Michael Summers, April 3, 2021