Another transfiguration perspective

(Day 2 in Transfiguration week … what was it like to not be on the mountain … what is it like at any time to feel left-out?)

The insiders grab pitons and crampons,
some spiritual version of gear,
and start to climb,
but the boys back at base camp

see only a flash of pyrotechnics,
faintly hear a man with no sense of rhythm
playing a tambourine –
is he even related to Miriam?
and a baritone mumbling away at
swing low sweet chariot,
but the voice their hearts
are aching for …
the wind just blows away,

while they greet
an endless rumpled multitude of needers
“your healing is important to us,
please stay in the line…”

And, even after the shiners and shriners
return with their precious secrets,

Jude and Thad, Tom, Nate, Andy
and the others
are already the saints of the left-out –

like any second January baby, 
only fourth grader
without a birthday invitation,
girl stood-up for the senior prom,
runner-up for the new job,
ex-spouse who does not get married again,
all-aloner at coffee hour –

“Never mind the rehearsal,”
they tell the rest of us,

“at the end, it will be one hill fits all.”

The Transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-13JESUS MAFA is a response to the New Testament readings from the Lectionary by a Christian community in Cameroon, Africa. Each of the readings was selected and adapted to dramatic interpretation by the community members. Photographs of their interpretations were made, and these were then transcribed to paintings.
Date:   1973 from Art in the Christian Tradition Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN
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6 Responses to Another transfiguration perspective

  1. Alison Thatcher says:

    Hi Maren,

    I first met you years ago at Twin Farms Writing Workshop when I was still in high school. I only recently discovered your blog, and it has meant so much to me. I’m a member of Plymouth Congregational Church in Plymouth, NH. This week I am helping our pastor write the liturgy for Sunday. Would it be possible to use this image of the Transfiguration for our Sunday bulletin?

    In gratitude, Alison Thatcher

    On Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 6:36 AM Gifts in Open Hands wrote:

    > Maren posted: ” (Day 2 in Transfiguration week … what was it like to not > be on the mountain … what is it like at any time to feel left-out?) The > insiders grab pitons and crampons,some spiritual version of gear,and start > to climb,but the boys back at base campsee ” >

    • Maren says:

      Wonderful to hear from you and I remember you very well! the image is from Art in the Christian Tradition Vanderbilt Divinity School Nashville, TN. If you use the acknowledgement I did it will work!

  2. I’m wondering about those left at the bottom of the mountain, too. This is magnificent. It’s got me thinking very differently than where I was. Thank you.

    • Maren says:

      I find myself looking for all the characters in the story so often. It’s always “us” listening to the distant glory while trying to do the work.

  3. Pingback: Sermon: Shine On, Shine On | Church of the Holy Cross Sermon: Shine On, Shine On | God's still speaking from Hilo

  4. Pingback: Another transfiguration perspective | Ace Caring & Sharing News

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