Blessed are You When Others Revile You – Tanya Runyan
I discovered Tanya Runyan recently though an online reading group I’m involved with on Facebook. I really liked this poem, and a bunch of others, in her collection, Simple Weight.
Blessed Are You When Others Revile You
We knew Preacher Man had it all wrong,
the 6; 4″ senior who pinned kids to their lockers
with the Four Spiritual Laws,
popped his head into classrooms
to proclaim “all have fallen short
of the glory of God,” and waved his Bible
as teachers dragged him to the principals’s
office, pages riffling like the hems
of Moses in the desert.
We knew he had lost the point
of sharing the Gospel through the simple
testimony of a life well-lived:
turning down sex and weed,
spotting spare dollars in the lunch room.
He makes us look so lame,
we groaned in youth group.
He’s working against our cause.
But when one afternoon
a freshman stuck his foot out
and Preacher Man slammed to the floor,
only to scramble after the retreating boy
and pull him into a hug, I knew
I had it all wrong, because he became
Jesus in the hallway of my school,
and I could never forgive him.
(corrected hiccup that occurred in my Kindle reader – Thanks Tgflux!)