I am a common laborer, no man knows naught what’s in my head, I absorb life’s blows and buffets as I earn my daily bread. The streets I live on are not pretty, they can be both ugly and quite mean. My world is seldom a place of joy where ladies dance in time serene.
Still, as I journey home-ward, after my day of struggling and tedious strife, I take an extra moment’s time and flee to a small earthly paradise. Sweet lilacs shade the hovel to which I wander, it is a small and simple shack, though her exterior is decrepit still she radiates the peace I lack. For on its eastern border, always basking in the sun, is a row, a baker’s dozen, of fragrant lilacs standing tall along the run.
These simple vibrant bushes always give to me a thrill, as in May by them I wander and my nostrils they do fill. I am no kind of gardener, I have no thumb of green, yet to this beautifully pungent smelling garden lovingly do I cleave. Though my toil is long and daily drudgery I do have my fill, still to my fragrant lilacs I dance and never trudge. Lovingly these extra furlongs I embrace with heart wide open, to smell the sweet gift from He who is our final judge.
Expectantly the ultimate corner I turn now anticipating a scent quite heavenly, though exhausted in soul and body I travel to my private Gethsemane. My trek’s sweet fruit soon I will be reaping gifts from the seeds I did not sow, so many times I’ve stood here weeping as God’s great beauty strikes me as a hammer blow.
But as I come to the mean cottage my eyes are met with a horrid sight. The lilacs all have met their maker and said their final goodnights. A baker’s dozen of God’s creatures, ruined, destroyed, forever rent. In stunned disbelief this truth I ponder as though my life’s now wholly spent.
In my grief my eyes mist with tears, I see a sight that is not there: Centered ‘tween twelve martyred lilacs stands my Lord with stigmata bared. I shake my head to clear my eyesight and allow my world to stop its spin. The destruction of my fragrant twelve apostles surely is a mortal sin.
At times I’ve reeled in wonder at the folly of those men who willingly spend fortunes saving whale, horse or ancient tower. I’ve thought it waste to spend time and money on such insipid folly but now in this time my life’s laid bare by this destruction of a flower.
I need the power of God’s mercy on one who knows that he is lost. Gone was my beautiful earthly garden and I could not count the cost. So, I stood before the bodies of His twelve all striped of life, reflecting on my folly as I play Thomas all my life. Countless times You have complied as I’ve asked to plunge my hand into your side Lord; I have seen your crown of thorns yet ever do I leave you asking, “Show me a little more.”
The death of twelve sweetly scented angels had me down upon my knees, I pray that I will stay there as it is You I know that I should please. I need not beg for your forgiveness, it is a gift you freely give, I’ll try to share Your loving mercy as my days for You I’ll live.
There are times I’ve smelled of Judas as I drank my coke and rum, watching as the blood of children ran red in gutter’s slum. Oh, the times I’ve reeked of sadness and with opiates I anesthetized, as I looked into the mirror and saw only eyes that I despise.
How many times have I abandoned the needs of my fellow circumscribed, clawing with Lucifer’s pitchfork to the top I most despise. So often have I seen the children donning soldiers’ vestment, while to their sacrifice I withhold His holly testament. These warriors who defend us as in mire we do crawl, God release me from my torment show how to again stand tall.
I want to drink the wine like blessed Jesus, eat His body, drink His blood. If my actions meet not His purpose why have I rejected His sweet love? We all can rise up in our anger, curse the light and damn the truth. My simple buds of May’s sweet lilacs surely from our bonds can loose.
Please upsweep me in your arms my Jesus, help me live my life in Thee. Slavery or total freedom, which is the path for me? For You my life and soul forever reaching, please don’t leave me in the ground. My heart so small and that of a weakling, minute in size and with murmurs sounds.
My streets are still the mean ones, nothing looks as though it’s changed, but in my mind the world’s reborn, priorities all rearranged. I am a common laborer, no man knows naught what’s in my soul: As life strikes and buffets me, loving all’s my worthy goal.