He Who Would Be Chief Among You

by Carol Lynn Pearson

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    And He rose from supper,

    Poured water in a basin,

    And washed the disciples’ feet.

    Those hands, hardened by the heat

    Of a desert sun, comfortable with cutting trees

    And turning them to tables in Joseph’s shop—

    Those hands that with a wave could stop

    The troubled sea, could touch a leper clean,

    Or triumphantly turn death away

    From the loved daughter on Jairus’ couch—

    Those hands that could gesture

    The heavens open—

    Poured water in a basin,

    And washed the disciples’ feet.

    The lesson lay unlearned,

    But to a few—

    Who trust the paradox

    And hear the call:

    He who would be chief among you

    Let him be the servant of all.