Hands & Feet

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We say “you are the hands and feet of Jesus

to those who serve the sojourner.

But as you come by caravan

in search of refuge

I wonder.

If I am the hands and feet of Jesus,

then what part of Christ’s Body are you?

You, whose feet traverse the ground

of countries far from home

as you wrestle with God’s promise

that he will much more clothe you;

as you wait for years in a country

that beckons the poor and the tired to her shores

Lady Liberty.

Does she mock?

Or does she weep?

As you approach with hands raised

surrendered to a system

where predators and extortionists walk free

rule this country –

like Barabbas, the criminal set free.

Meanwhile, you wait in prison

for having the audacity to believe

that your brothers and sisters

would heed the command of Jesus

to feed the hungry

clothe those in need.

Can you hear the crowds chanting

like they did back then?

“Lock Her Up.”

2000 years later

the lash of the whip still echoes on the back of

Christ’s broken Body

Lord have mercy

as we point to invisible lines

on God-breathed Earth

to justify why you

with an infant on your back

must wait outside our tall fences

with no place to lay your head.

If I am the hands and feet of Jesus,

then what part of Christ’s Body are you?

You, who travels through the darkest of nights

who cries out to God from the desolate deserts of your journey

stomach empty not from fasting but from hunger

as you patiently wait for new morning mercies.

You, who yet sings a song of praise to God

and hopes beyond hopes

with eyes fixed through the most dimly lit mirror.

You, who sojourns to Babylon

to bring spirit-ordained healing to a nation

blinded by pride and comfort

sloth and greed.

The prophet Jeremiah declared:

“They dress the wounds of my people

as though it were not serious;

saying ‘peace, peace’

When there is no peace.”

There is no peace

as we expel you in need of refuge

to shark shaped shores.

You sojourn here

confronting idols in lands that are not home

with bare hands folded in prayers

that flip the tables of our idolatrous kingdoms

betrayed by an unjust system, yet:

praising God –

while you drink this cup of suffering

that we offered you instead of water.

You endure the mocking and scorn

as we question if you are

who you say you are.

Even now, you cling to hope in a paradise

where a room has been prepared

which you know full well

lies not beyond these towering walls.

You exhale a maranatha prayer

¡Ven o Señor!

Come, Lord Jesus

If we are Christ’s body

then His healing hands

and feet that bring good news

are not mine, but

Yours.

Monica Bharadwaj

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