I’m not sure if anyone else will enjoy this “poem” or cringe at it, but it’s probably my favorite of all that I have written. Not because it’s a good poem, but because of the memories it evokes in me.
I was blessed to go to Israel on a tour in 2011. One day while we were in Jerusalem the group spent part of the day at the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount.
This was my absolute most favorite place to visit in all of Israel, and that is saying something because I truly loved the whole country. If you were to sit as the man in the picture above and look straight ahead, you would be looking across at the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s quite a distance and today there’s a four-lane street between the Temple Mount and the Garden, but it’s still much like it was at the time of Jesus. In fact, this is the one place in Israel that you can say with almost complete certainty, that Jesus walked up and down these very steps. Imagine! Jesus strode up and down these very stones.
Look close and you’ll see how uneven and rugged they are. They were cut that way from the beginning. The idea is that the person ascending the steps to the Temple would have to be careful stepping up and would be concentrating on the Lord, not what he might be having for lunch.
I didn’t need the help. It was one of the most spiritual and amazing times I have ever had. The poem below the result of that experience and the imaginings I had as I sat there on those ancient steps.
I gazed across the valley below and up to the Garden on the hill above. This is what I saw in my mind’s eye.
On Seeing Jesus Walking from the Garden to the Temple
I see Him coming from the garden,
Young and fit, He strides with strength,
Yet He’s not imposing…rather;
He is like any of us.
Speaking as He goes His way,
Stopping perhaps to linger with someone,
To brush back the hair of a child;
Or swing them onto His shoulders
And give them a brief ride,
He even stumbles and falls
But He just laughs that endearing laugh
Dusts off and continues
Down the hill and to the other side.
Along the way He is always smiling, speaking,
He doesn’t just speak, but walks over,
Embraces those around Him,
And when He finds someone ill
He stops…just stops and heals them,
Imagine, Who else…just stops and heals them.
He’s at the bottom of the steps now,
I see Him start up, quick, sure,
Not an easy task on uneven stones;
Cut that way to make you ponder heaven.
He reaches me, and like the others,
Stops, smiles, and calls my name,
“How are you?”
“Good to see you.”
His hair dances in the breeze
Coming up from the valley below,
His dark, inviting eyes swallow me
And bathe me in awe and peace.
A small tear runs down my cheek,
He just wipes it away with a smile.
Then He turns and is quickly up the steps
About His Father’s work.
I’m sure I will answer Him;
In a million years or so.
©December 25, 2011