“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
— Matthew 7:11
Battle scarred, the executive longs for
…rest, vaguely aware of the scythe
…of exhaustion, rescued
…with illness and
Shouting down a protest, she hears her voice
…her need to understand,
…she reaches for
Desperate to reconcile, a mother feeds
…her own, whose age needs convalesce,
…and in those bitter hours
Crushed under conflict, their eyes turned against
…the wind, a people cry for peace,
…electing a debtor
…from across a
Groaning with all life to brush heaven’s joys —
…just to bear a cross — deep prayers earn
…in our broken
There’s a casual lightening, unrecognized
at first, in the wake of a distant shout,
or maybe some unguessed music, as when
a taut and aging muscle suddenly
gives way, the clinking of unwanted iron
slipping to ground. But then a satiety
invades, a strange, familiar character,
and that rune known only in the pulpits’
shadowed casts and smoke-filled libraries turns
to the something real in the here of now.
A velvet veil parts, sweeping the soul
with light from new stars, piloting a dawn
rich with gold through crimson tinctured clouds.
Those open cuts and empty spaces raw
with wind and fever quiet, and the mind’s
needles slacken — not gone, but sharp no more.
New bells ring louder each step forward, each
step more remote from reason, and hands clasp
around an open table where no night
divides. A smile emerges blithe from lines
of furrowed tears, mirrored in every smile
surrounding, and the pardon bubbles out,
like the cool waters of a baptismal font
streaming silver laughter down the face.
Joshua S. Fullman is Professor of English at Faulkner University, where he also teaches in the Great Books Honors undergraduate and graduate programs. He is also Director of the Institute of Faith and the Academy, a university initiative to promote faith-learning integration.
Joshua S. Fullman, “Broken Blessings,” An Unexpected Journal: Joy 5, no. 3. (Fall 2022), 141-142.
Joshua S. Fullman, “Jubilee,” An Unexpected Journal: Joy 5, no. 3. (Fall 2022), 143.