Transfigured: Luke 9:28-36

Sometimes, for a suspended moment,
light can be a physical presence, causing
eyelids to slam down like window-blinds, the doors
of the mind to bang shut in shock and wonder,
hands thrown up, defensively, as the flare
makes visible the bones in those same hands, hands
whose strength had been a source of pride but now
seemed as ephemeral as moth wings against such a light.

Even with eyes closed, the figures danced
orange and black upon the green screen of eyelids.
Light so bright it deafened,
at first we reeled, contained within the thunderous roar
of an open furnace door. Lightning forked heavenward
and split. Jesus stood, and two more–
on one side the Law in Moses, forming community; on the other
Elijah’s prophetic imagination: poet and goad.
In the center the Human One, divine image perfected
yet also living, enfleshed, as when veiled, among us.

And then the humming sound of our own heartbeats.
Now we saw the seams torn asunder,
Virtues at the center of a humanity,
enlightenment embodied, laid bare
and God’s Wisdom in the center, committed,
to lay himself down for our sake.
The holy companions murmured together,
as old friends do, laughing at meeting again,
the delight in pulling back the curtain
revealing essential cosmic union.
Of course we wished to stay forever.

But the pronouncement to listen shocked us to silence,
and we staggered like sleepwalkers
from the cloud-shrouded mountain,
newly alive, boundaries of earth and sky
an illusion. Scattered images dancing
along nerves, transformed from experience to memory,
our footsteps in sync with each pulse
that beat as one with that sacred heart
and thrummed from that unpierced wrist
and beautiful, unmarred brow,
Earth electric beneath our feet, transfigured.

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