The  keep-your-fingers-crossed Jesus
lurks behind my fears
and offers me a sort of hope.
Believe in me, he says;
it’s a simple formula,
and I’ll help you
to get the words right. 

This Jesus for the credulous
is brightly painted.
He tries to tell me
that everything that happens,
good and ill,
is part of a divine plan;
just keep smiling. 

Always there when a safe passage
is needed, he smiles benignly
with his fingers crooked.
He promises blessings
and reassurance,
forgives at the drop of a hat,
and is never outraged. 

Sometimes, in the screaming of the night,
I glimpse a different Jesus.
Less pretty, he is wild
like the man in the story
and more than slightly dangerous.
He carries pain in his face,
anger in his voice,

and love in his calloused hands.
This Jesus brings little
that might resemble comfort,
yet still speaks strangely of hope.
He offers no seat in paradise,
just a worrying invitation
to walk his way. 

© Ken Rookes 2013

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