Giving Honor

Some pray exemption from Life’s crushing laws
     And cheer God’s healing work when done
          In spite of doctors’ skill and care
                Like Christ etal who worked direct
                    And skipped the middleman.

They cite five thousand fed that day
     And claim expansion of their paltry lunch
          Of halting word and scanty hermeneutic
               From one whose heart was merciful to give
                   His Son with wounds and stripes to heal
                        The sick and bind the broken-hearted.

In from the margins others pray that God
     A steady hand might give, sharp eye, quick thought,
          And deft effectual action to his teams of healing workers –
               Called, trained, equipped, and set in place
                    To mediate His love and mercy through their action.

These also cite five thousand fed
     But note how each their lunches hid
          In panniers by their sides – except one boy
               Who offered fish and two small loaves
                    To Christ who blessed the action publicly
                         Replacing promised hearts of flesh
                              For hearts of stone and self-enhancing spirit.

Two thousand years – not much has changed –
     The skill-to-people numbers up
           But ratios holding steady –

And at the core they research more as snake-wrapped sword
     They wield to crush or skirt life’s finite laws
          And bring fresh mercy to long healing-lines
               Close pressing for some cure.

Disdain flows out as margins tout their faith-grasped
     Venomous snakes’-oil cure –
          Drawn from a line of silent shuffling feet
               To one who wielded hopeful prayers for faith’s exemption.

Nearby five thousand medics on their lawns
     With lunches hid in panniers by their sides –
          From waiting lines and poorer kinds –
               Foreswear these boys with snake-oil toys.

Perhaps it’s time to pray the Christ-child
     Once more bless small proffered lunch –
          And switch these medics' stones to hearts of flesh.