A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, March 23, 2009

"A Photograph in Time" by Steve Robbins

I just received this reading from Steve Robbins in my church who has been on a business trip in Shanghai. This is hot off the press. He has a tremendous gift for writing, as you will see. Read on.

A Photograph in Time

I am sitting at the window of a café
From an exotic locale in the Orient
I am solo again, leaving the entourage behind
As I look out the window it is raining
My thoughts are as scattered as the droplets
It is a cold wet rain creeping into my bones
Just a slow drizzle leaking from a very grey day
I have the dull haze of jet lag in my head
And I am thinking about the journey yet to come
I see my reflection in the glass clearly
It’s a middle aged guy, graying from his youth
With raindrops smearing the runny image into older age
Which adds to the illusion I am not young any more
I stare past this image as an unfamiliar canvas unfolds
I can’t quite get my bearings aligned in this culture
Time zones still clicking by slowly in my head
It seems like I have been here before briefly
But I am lost in recollections from another land and reality
Looking out the window, my focus is distracted
It’s from the corner of my eye at the edge of periphery
A blurred image of a man enters a car, and it’s pulling away
Did he have a beard and long hair?
Quit unusual in a culture this far from home; I thought
It draws my attention like the force from a magnet
And polarizes my full concentration blindly
At this point the surreal takes over and things slow down
As in a sluggish motion with time stopping imagery
You know, the kind where the movie pans in slow motion
As the director instructs the camera’s movement for effect
Where it seems an instant collapses into an eternity creeping
With raindrops and vehicle almost frozen in time
The rain smears the image of the driver completely
Like a shadow running down the window soaking
Which quickly comes out of focus while accelerating away
And enhancing the slow motion effect immensely
As the car passes, our eyes meet for an instant
A heart warming glance from infinity it seems
locked through eternity in a single glance and thought
This image still haunts my memory like a photograph
Wondering who I had connected with as the shutter closed
Strangely blurred beyond true identity or certainty
In a subliminal, yet conscious way the snapshot taken
Leaving me frozen with doubt for an instance, and then he was gone…..

Was that you Jesus?

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