Winter skies melted molten gold, reaping a sunset scarlet hued
As evening faded into black, an old stranger stood amongst three crosses
The first firmly planted in dark ground, the next mounted above a door
And the third raised high on a bright bell tower, trimmed brilliant blue
In icy cold he huddled and shivered, as candlelit windows glowed
Then fell to his knees on fragrant juniper amid Star of Bethlehem blooms
Where he wept and cried, I am not worthy of this most sacred earth
Then startled as from dreams of night, the stranger heard a voice
Speaking clearly from the shadowed berth, where the first cross rested
And he heard how true faith lives not inside four walls, nor in religious halls
But out amongst the lonely, seeking, desperate, teeming streets of life
And suddenly from the second cross the voice arose, proclaiming
The Saviour of the world whose grace to save surpassed all bounds
As blankets of stars surrounded, a voice from the third cross rang out
And the stranger seemed to hear great singing of countless saints
Telling the story of the One who had suffered upon a lonely hill
To rescue all mankind, as He died on a cross between two thieves
Sweeping into the strangerís mind, a legacy of his life long sins arose
And somehow he found himself echoing words spoken so long ago
By one dying man next to Christ, who dared to believe and ask ---
Jesus, will you remember me, when You come into your Kingdom?
And sweeter than any words, the stranger heard a wondrous reply
I tell you, this very day, you will be with me in Paradise.
At greyest light of dawn, a padre rambled slowly up the dusty trail
Leading to the church called Las Cruces, where he found a homeless man
With the name Luke on a scrap of paper in his pocket, and a few coins
And clutched in the stranger's hands icy cold, was a single solemn white rose
And as the padre whispered a prayer, he knew once again this place had spoken
Mysteriously, heaven had reached down, and carried another friend home
Copyright 2011, S. Michaels
From: Five Star Notebook
Author's Note: Sometimes art works inspire poetic stories, and this was one of those cases, as a story came to mind when I came across an old pueblo church art print. I also love the timeless message of grace in the Bible, and therefore further based this poem on a scripture verse, Luke 19:10
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