The heaviness you feel, a weight of gold on you,
embroidered purple on that mantle you’ve always admired,
what I am giving you. Oh, sure, it’s a drag,
carrying an other-worldly burden
that requires the full participation of heaven to bear.
Such increase comes to those who obey the hard way,
what would kill a lesser man.
Not you, the lesser man doesn’t realize he’s the one must die,
must swap his bristles and goat-leather rags for the noble raiment
made of Spirit, made of Christ.
Hallelujah, don’t kill yourself in the process.
Precious heart, let me do the separating,
bone from marrow, soul from Spirit.
It takes a sharper knife than you’ve access to,
and a surgeon’s touch.
The greatest soul is the one whose legs
do not buckle under the load,
which is God’s very hand on you,
and the separation from your peers that entails.
The greatest soul will rejoice in the heaviness,
knowing that it’s glory
such the world could never buy, not with all its money.
View the painting that inspired the poem.