Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Sitting Saints

Photo: The Sitting Saints, © 2010, Irene Pruitt

The old Haitian man outside of St. Michael’s Church in Jacmel Haiti during the celebration of The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

The old man sat weeping as the church service progressed. He sat outside the wall by the gate so that he could hear and see what was taking place inside. His shoes and clothes were soiled and torn. His soul, like the soles of his shoes and his clothes, was tattered and worn. He wept and cried out. He prayed, sobbed, and petitioned the Lord with many a shout; from fists in the air and humbled despair, through life’s weather and wear, as the crowds looked on and looked away, as if they did not care. At communion, the back rows and the periphery were overlooked, just as the old man was overlooked in life, and as he was overlooked at the peace; his tears his only release. And when the recessional took place, the priests and the saints walked on disappearing without a trace, missing Jesus in the old man’s face.

The Sitting Saints

(Deuteronomy 33:3)

The saints are sitting


Unscathed and clean




The true saint wails

Words fall . . .

They fall short

They fail

Nothing to say of comfort

Nothing of the sort

When the priests do not notice

After the church bell rings

Cries muffled

As the saintly choir sings

An offering of prayer

Is what one brings

The laying on of hands

A simple touch

And the giving of the peace

Tears! Tears!


© 2010, Robbie Pruitt


Deuteronomy 33: 1-4

“Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand came a fiery law for them. Yes, He loves the people; All His saints are in Your hand; They sit down at Your feet; Everyone receives Your words. Moses commanded a law for us, a heritage of the congregation of Jacob.”

The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Dt 33:1-4