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  • Juanita Ryan

Nothing Bright or Beautiful

A poem by Juanita Ryan

Then they led him away to crucify him.

Matthew 27:31

There was nothing bright or beautiful

about the day the sun hid and the earth shook hard —

that terrifyingly dark day you gave your life.

There was nothing sanitized

about the weight of wood you carried

or the dust you fell into under its crush.

There was nothing theologically comprehensible

about the horrors of this criminal’s execution

or the ending of your life of radical love.

There were no words of comfort or hope

that could be spoken or even conceived

when they carried your body away.

There was every reason to believe

we had all been abandoned

by our Creator on that day—

that day when God was at work,

reconciling the whole world,

drawing us all into Love’s embrace.

Help me, I pray,

to enter the darkness,

kneel in the dust,

let go of explanations,

embrace the loss of words and comprehension,

trust by grace that in it all we are lovingly held—

and be with you in your suffering then

and with you in your suffering with us now.

From Juanita’s book: Grace Rises


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