April is #NationalPoetryMonth. Here is one is the poems from Chris Maxwell’s new book, “embracing now.”

the week ended.
the week merging celebration and accusation ended.

weeks do that.
they begin their sprint then rush
toward a conclusion.
like stories, our weeks
contain components of drama
and tension and conflict
and romance and resolution.
to pause during our weeks helps:
we notice the fragments,
we see the invisible,
we imagine the wonder,
we gaze beyond the obvious.
we believe.
while doubting and questioning,
we choose to believe.
when feeling nothing much at all,
we believe.

even when we watch a Hero punished.

even when we turn our back on our Hero.

even when we hide, barely able to notice our Hero dying.

even when the conflict and tension appear to indicate our selected Hero became the victim.

Christ’s followers found themselves
not sitting
on our comfortable seats
in the theater many years later.
they weren’t standing to sing a reverent song in remembrance of a distant holiday.
they were there as it occurred.
their screen was real time.
their ears heard;
their eyes saw;
their emotions felt.
their lives—risking all
to pause and follow
by chasing the dreams
of a single figure
in this drama—appeared to be
ending also.

but we must pause here.
we must not rush past this part
of the story.
if we revisit this scene often enough,
if we taste the reminders
of Holy Communion deeply enough,
if we image the bloody depiction
realistic enough,
we let sacraments bring faith and hope and love.
we allow death to fetch us life.

how? because from the scene
of Christ’s cruel death
comes a segment
of this narrative that gives us
deeper reason to pause,
that offers us a larger purpose
for mentally noticing all the wonder
these pages have offered
as realities in the present.