Healing and hope

Haiku for desperate people

On the other side
of the lake, a crowd gathered;,
eager for his word.

A desperate dad,
synagogue leader Jairus,
fell at Jesus’ feet.

Begs for his daughter,
She’s dying, come and touch her
with your healing hands.

A woman is there,
bleeding, unclean for twelve years;
doctors have not helped.

She comes quietly,
feeling shame at her illness;
touches his clothing.

Immediately
her flow of blood ends. What joy!
she knows she is healed.

He somehow feels it,
asks who it was who touched him
as the crowd presses.

In fear and trembling
she falls before him. Daughter,
be healed, go in peace.

He has been delayed;
reports are brought of the girl.
No point in coming.

She’s not dead, he says,
just sleeping. They scoff and laugh.
He goes to the house.

He takes the girls hand,
(She was all of twelve years old),
Little girl, get up!

What wonder is this?
He speaks and his words bring life;
this is the gospel!

© Ken Rookes 2018

 

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Make him a wonder worker

Haiku for establishing credentials

Jesus the teacher
spoke of forgiveness and love;
the way to true life

Forget other stuff;
love and generosity
create peace and hope.

His words of promise
bring great joy to hungry hearts.
They make him welcome.

But words are one thing:
make him a wonder worker
to prove he is God.

In bed with fever,
Simon’s wife’s mother is ill;
Jesus makes her well.

They came that ev’ning,
the sick and the troubled ones;
all of the city.

Jesus had pity.
He looked on them with mercy,
healed and blessed them all.

On to other towns;
his words must be spread widely.
This is why he came.

Peace and grace abound;
God’s undistinguishing love
is for all people.

© Ken Rookes 2018.

Even the dogs

Weary from the crowds,
he slipped across the border for a break.
A holiday with a few close friends,
up north among the foreigners.
Different people, culture, food.
Best of all, no one knows him here.

The woman’s love
has grown achingly to despair;
such is her daughter’s illness.
Her dormant hopes quicken
when she learns the identity
of the stranger from the south.

Disregarding his request for privacy,
she intrudes, insisting that he intervene
to heal her child.
His response disappoints.
Wrong race, wrong religion.

The man offers a domestic metaphor to justify
his lack of compassion.
Sorry, I can’t help;
the food is for the children, not the dogs.

It takes our breath away.
Suddenly we hear the shrill, cheering voices
of the xenophobes, islamophobes, flag wearers,
shock jocks and opportunistic politicians.

But the story continues;
this foreign woman does not know her place.
She accepts the racial calumny,
but, with impertinence,
throws the image back at the teacher:
Yes, but even the dogs . . .

Even the dogs.
The woman, he concedes, is correct.
There are no boundaries to love
except the ones we fashion from our fears.
The man accepts his lesson with grace,
and setting aside his weariness,
offers her the crumb.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Nothing I can do

Haiku of learning

Wrong race and wrong creed.
The man puts the woman off
when she asks for help.

Nothing I can do;
the food is for the children,
it’s not for the dogs.

That is so, she says,
but even dogs may consume
table scraps that fall.

Good point, says Jesus,
You got me! Your faith is strong;
your daughter is healed.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

It was on the Sabbath Day

Haiku for those who would see.

Jesus was working;
it was on the Sabbath Day
that he healed the man.

The Pharisees freaked,
the thing was most improper;
called an inquiry.

What have you to say?
He can’t heal and break the law;
must be a sinner.

A sinner, you say?
He opened my eyes. I choose
to call him Prophet.

Yes, this is our son.
Yes, he was born without sight,
and yes, now he sees.

How did it happen?
Why are you questioning us?
Ask him, he will know!

They inquire once more:
His power must be from God,
says the seeing man.

The crowd was aroused,
the leaders were embarrassed.
So they threw him out.

Jesus found the man.
Now that you can see, he says,
keep your eyes open.

Some with eyes to see
choose the darkness over light;
they make themselves blind.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

On the sabbath

Haiku for the religiously observant.

On the sabbath day
the afflicted woman came.
She asked no favours.

Eighteen years of pain,
with body bent and twisted;
Jesus called to her.

Freed by Jesus’ words,
standing upright, rejoicing;
giving praise to God.

Religious leaders
speak to defend the sabbath
from such outrages.

Six days for working!
The seventh’s not for healing;
come another day!

Get real, says Jesus.
Common sense and compassion
must rule ev’ry day.

Living is empty
if love no longer shapes us;
Embrace its freedom.

The crowd rejoices;
opponents are put to shame.
Don’t mess with Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016