The Chain Cleaver

February 7, 1997

Mark 1:21,23-26 – And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. (KJV)

    She was wheeled through bolted doors,
      flung open to admit her.
        Shouting, somewhat incoherent,
          her presence broke in upon us,
            taking our attention captive.
    "That 'blankety' Doctor!
      What does he know?
        I need a cigarette….
          Get this junk out of my hair!
            I want…
              a bath…
    Heart renching agony,
      offensively intruding
        upon our serene world.
          Hell's heartcried despair,
            wrenching, gut-hole, cavernous misery
              into sterile, sanitarium solemnity.
    Pastor, Elder, and all sit
      visiting, listening, hoping
        to breathe some breath of life,
          into bleak, desolate, wasteland worlds.
    Trying to affirm some sunshine word,
      among the depressed, the addicted,
        the mentally struggling, the subtly dying.
    "I want you to meet a friend…."
      intruding upon Pastoral tones, she sobs,
        "I don't have any friends…."
          out-of-control, desolation,
            welling from within,
              spilling, flood-watered grief,
                drowning all peace.
    Pastoral toned levy
      against her emotional flood,
        her deluge of despair,
          by speaking friendship, acceptance, God's love.
    Entering with hope, opening possibilities,
      bringing the Author of love
        to forlorn faithlessness.
    Penetrating through walled-in black despair
      with the chain cleaver
        called love, called hope, called Christ.
    "Hold thy peace, and come out…"

Prayer: O Prince of Peace, bring peace into world-weary lives. Free the captives. Release those in self-made bondage. Bring love, light, joy and peace into all struggling hearts and lives. For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Cassandra Wessel <>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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