Sitting Across From You

I’m sitting across from you
on the Metro
and down the tube we go
in and out of the dark
save where we sit
under dirty fluorescent bulbs
with cheap cologne and dirty boots,
worn coats and dull looks,
silent warnings against trespass.

I’m sitting across from you
thinking we’ve bumped shoulders here
more than once before, thinking you look nice,
like someone whose hands have helped,
whose eyes have seen,
whose laughter has disabused fear,
who has loved and been loved,
certain of where you come from
and where you’re going.

I’m sitting across from you
with you avoiding my eyes and my book,
it’s gilt-edged pages a give away
of my allegiance, so I smile
and wonder if you’ll smile back
and if you do, whether I’ll have the courage
to tell you that I know where you’re going
better than you do and if I don’t tell you
you may never have the chance to hear
until it’s too late.

I’m sitting across from you
and I decide your smile is more polite
than inviting, so I think I’ll just swallow the word
that had been on the tip of my tongue
and look out the window at tunnel walls
like blank spaces of time lost, never to be regained,
as we hurtle towards that day when eternity
dawns in heaven or hell – oh, how can I tell you
where you’re going? – until I think how glorious
it would be to see you there,
where I’m going, the city of God.

I’m sitting across in front of you
seeing a Cross, and dying
to tell you about Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4: 1-7
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 


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