Lenten Reflection – If Jesus came from White Swan

If Jesus came from White Swan

Instead of a manger

He spent his first night in the back of a Dodge Caravan,

windows gone,

surrounded by a menagerie of mule dogs and a few unbroke horses.

He loves basketball.

He’s good for a stealth joke told with a straight face, the kind that

sneaks up on you,

and leaves you laughing a long time

He hitchhikes

hugs the shoulder of Fort road after dark

wearing basketball shorts and an XL hoodie,

hands buried deep in the pouch pocket.

He doesn’t look you in the eye

ends his sentences with “ay…”

Decent folks peg him right off:

as he walks through  the Country buffet parking lot heading toward the mall,

they look down, lock their car doors.

He can walk a long way, and in winter might jog

home to grandma’s to keep warm

if he can’t catch a ride.

Since his mother was an unwed teen when he was born,

Jesus naturally lives with Grandma.

His first miracle is turning wine into water.

Even though he belongs to a small band of confederated tribes

you’ve never heard of

surrounded by a mighty empire,

he is still the son of God.

He could but doesn’t heal

Celilo falls of the dam

that divides the land of his people.

At rock creek,

he feeds thousands with

dip net and digging stick.

Together, he and his people

gather the bounty of the promised land.

He takes a few friends with him

To the top of Mount Adams,

where he is transformed:

His clothing becomes light,

His face hot and bright as the sun.

If you, unbelieving, are there

the lightening coursing down your spine

drops you to your knees,

your face pushed against the cool grit of blessed earth.

He speaks with Kamiakin and Strong Heart

and a voice from a cloud

that says

“this is my beloved son;

hear Him.”

by Sarah Augustine about the town near where she lives on the Yakama Reservation

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