by Tracey Michae’l Lewis
Imagine that below your wrists
—where with the slightest touch of the hand you can feel the racing of your blood
as your heart pumps life to every corner of your body—
a 4-inch long and 1-inch wide rusted and ragged nail pierced that place
Severing every nerve in its path
Leaking your life down your own arms
Imagine that this pain is repeated in your other wrist and then your ankles
As you are pinned to two unfinished pieces of a tree
Splinters larger than the hands of a man tunneling deeply into the open wounds on your back
Wounds so fresh
from 39 lashes of a whip carefully designed to rip your flesh
tear your muscles
render you so close to death
that your next breath
feels like your last.
Only, not yet.
Because now they are lifting you up and sliding the end of this tree into the earth.
Now imagine the weight of your body responding to gravity’s call
As the nails in your wrists begin to split through your flesh
You may try to lift your back to stop the tearing but…
Imagine that you ask for water
Your dying wish as a man
And expectantly you watch the wet cloth rise toward your lips
Only to find the bitter taste of vinegar and the sick joke of those who were sent
to stand guard in your demise
The dryness of your mouth now elevated with thirst
As your body continues to shred
Seems like the nails have torn to the middle of your hands now
Leaving a hole, though not bigger than the one that grows in your heart
You aren’t sure of how much time you have left
But you have been told that, alas, there is more.
Imagine that, without warning, your side
—Yes, the space below your ribs—
Has been impaled by the sharpened blade of a spear
and as you lose the ability to hold your body in place
you catch sight of the your insides escaping down your legs.
Now imagine that you are innocent. Not Guilty.
Your only crime is that you accurately fulfilled your destiny; your offense is that you were born
And yet your mother, your brothers, your friends, and your enemies
All look upon you.
They must be thinking, “This can’t be it!”
“He will prove them wrong once and for all.”
And you will.
Just not in the way that their minds could ever fathom.
Imagine that before you take your last breath and before your heart throbs its last beat
Something else happens.
Your Father, the one who has spoken to you and through you
the one who loved you
the one who commissioned you to such a awesome task…
Turns his head. He cannot look upon you.
He is disgusted by what he sees on you
And now, in spite of all of the other pain, it is this distance, this separation that sends you over the edge
Into the second phase: descent.
Imagine that you died. That you endured all of this…the pain,
The sorrow, the disconnection from your Father, for…
The liar, the gossip, the backstabbing cheater
The murderer, the child molester, the rapist, the thief
The crooked politician and the adulterer
The arrogant brother that lives next door
That prideful sister; that girl, the whore
The movie star, the alcoholic, the crack addict
The mother who beats and kills her children
The abused and the abuser
The anorexic and the glutton
The one who killed the five year old girl as she rode her
bike in front of her home.
Imagine that YOU died. You died for…
The one who killed your son and daughter, the one who touched your child,
The one who stole your savings and the ones who laid you off
…the one who didn’t even believe that you were ever born.
Would you willingly die for those who have been named?
There was one. Who suffered and bled for these…
And yet he defied death by entering phase three: the ascent.
Rising again with the
Power of Heaven and Earth in his hands.
His Kingdom come.
Now, Imagine that.
(c) 2006 Tracey Michae’l Lewis