Ugly, ragged things,
Red footprints of this sin-ridden Earth,
Red and gaping eyes all weeping forth
Streams of sufferings.
Open doors to dirt,
Foul invasion of rent flesh and heart,
Corruption growing in every part,
Each unguarded hurt.
Signs of Adam’s fall,
Dragging down his children farther still,
Paining, tempting, threatening to kill,
Bitter plague to all.
Then laid senselessly
Upon flesh that could not know such stain,
Letting sacred blood-streams out to drain
Horrors lifted high,
Smears of evil making Him downtrod
Who is all glory—gore ripped from God,
Blackening the sky!
Tearing a divide
Far below that bloody, barren height,
In the curtain grim that barred the light,
Blindingly divine, from human blight—
Split now, like His side.
Floodgates to the earth,
Gashes letting streams of healing in,
Founts of anguish through which, for our sin,
Seas of peace and comfort now have been
Won—His sorrow’s worth!
Darkened soon, and dry,
Then, in darkness, brilliantly inflamed
With a fire like dawn, with something claimed
That leaves death itself to be ashamed—
Blazing signs, now free
From the bitter shame and ugliness,
Burning sunlike through our hopelessness,
Challenging our feeble hearts to guess
What’s past Calvary.
Here, on us, our pain,
Ugly, shameful, most bitter to bear,
Our hope too, and when we follow there,
Likening us to His splendor fair,
Who was hurt and slain.