Editor’s Note: The following poem by Trevor Scott Barton was written while he was living in Africa and reading The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi.
Holding you in the palm of my hand
I see your tiny feet and hope you'll live and walk these stony paths
To the pump to get water.
Blessing you in your meekness and gentleness,
You are Jesus to me today.
Asking for holes in the palms of my hands
Receiving you instead
Seeking holes in my feet
Finding this road winding to mud bricks and thatched roofs
Under baobab trees,
In the holy poverty of an unknown African village
Where suffering and love are found in their wholeness.
Knocking on the door for the hole in my side
I am opening it i
nto the life of a broken child.
Listening to you
I understand that you are an end in itself and not a means to an end.
Looking at you
I see you are a beginning in yourself and a new way for me to see.
I feel you living in my heart.
Trevor Scott Barton is an elementary school teacher in Greenville, S.C. He is a blogger for the Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Image: St. Francis of Assisi statue in Mexico, PerseoMedusa / Shutterstock.com