Jesus Draws Away: poem and prayer from Matthew 14

inspired by Matthew 14:1-21

John the Baptizer at his highest point
spoke to soft souls of God’s rigorous way,
of the need for true repentance to join
the highway of God’s holiness today.
But now, good John, imprisoned unjustly,
caught up in the machinations of power,
is dead. A young girl’s passion-dance swiftly
brought a king’s rash vow—John’s death in an hour.
That same king’s wary eye falls on Jesus.
whose wonder-working power has drawn great crowds;
a sort of echo: John redivivus.
King Herod wants to seek and end that sound.
So, now, Jesus withdraws to the desert
to let His Father’s loving voice recenter.

* * *

A prayer of response:

Lord, give me grace
to hear Your voice of love
amidst all the sounds
and pressures of life.
Help me know when and how
to withdraw with You
that I might be recentered
by You and in You.

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