1994
Two Voices at Easter
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“Two Voices at Easter,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 30

Two Voices at Easter

Mary, Mother of Jesus: Good-bye at Golgotha

I’ve said good-bye a thousand times.

Each mother does,

Then, patient, praying, waits at home.

I said good-bye

When toddler’s feet first moved

Beyond safe whitewashed kitchen door,

When youthful hands

Found Joseph’s dark oak bench and tools

To practice craft of carpenter,

When joyful boy discovered

God’s will writ bold in temple text

And heard bright angels’ promises.

I said good-bye

When John baptized him in the stream

And a lone white dove descended

As emblem of his Father’s love,

When faith turned water into wine

And every miracle in turn

Confirmed that he was God’s

Not mine.

I said good-bye

When neighbor’s stone turned sharp,

Ears closed against his tongue,

And mocking people drove him

From green Galilee.

And finally

Standing in the empty crowd

I saw stupidity not men

Pound spikes into his gentle hands

And cursing lift him up

To goad and mock out loud

Until I said good-bye a thousand times

And fresh salt tears poured down

To mark the ground that we were left upon.

Good-bye my son.

I will be lonely

But not alone.

Good-bye my son.

We’ll wait for you

At home.

Stephen, a Blind Child: Witness to the Resurrection

I will be twelve this year—

Of Levi’s tribe

And might have become a priest

Except I have been blind since three.

A childhood fever’s curse

Has made the scripture hard for me.

And so I was surprised

My mother often let me go alone

To hear Him preach outside the gate.

And though my stumbled path was often late,

I knew He let young children close

To learn the kingdom’s mysteries.

I treasured his soft words,

Not always understood

But warm like summer to my ears.

He taught the songs of faith

That sailors sang on storm-tossed Galilee,

And sometimes when he spoke of love

I almost thought that I could see

His face and glowing sun above—

Such are the dreams of children

Blind since three.

And then dark day in early spring

My mother said I must not go again—

The Romans had imprisoned him

As heretic, she said.

Tense worried tone

Confirmed God’s love

That I and others there

Had felt and known.

Two more nights passed

And then

Before our evening prayer

I felt the whole earth lift and fall

Rocks crying out in pain

As darkened pall slipped across the town

And mother held me comfort close,

Knowing that a god had died,

And seeing and blind eyes both cried.

But that was not the important part.

This morning while the last watch slept

I heard a sound

And rose to feel first cool hill winds

Whisper morning round my floor

And women’s voices hushed below,

Hurrying through still darkened street,

Speaking of angel and empty tomb.

And I thought I saw faint light

But with my real eyes this time—

A growing glow that conquered night

And filled my room

With visual hymn that angels sang

In wondrous unity.

Soft

Still growing like the dawn

Until all wind and earth joined song:

Al-le-lu-ia,

Christ is King!

Ears had dreamed such dream before

But blinded eyes had never seen

Heaven and earth combined in joy—

God’s witness for a blinded boy:

Alleluia,

My Lord is King!

Fear of Hope, by Derek Hegsted

The Lord Greets Mary after the Resurrection, by William Henry Margetson