Rouault’s Christ and the Woman Saint
I could be that woman kneeling before Christ.
As he leans in, his eyes look for mine.
I bend my head, unsure of his gaze.
His hand offers me a quiet invitation.
Yes, this could be me. It could be Rachel weeping
or Mary sitting at Christ’s feet.
Or it could be my daughter, my mother, or
my neighbor. Here is Jesus saying, “Come
to me for rest, all you who are weary.”
Sister, for you, too, he spreads out his hand.
Rouault’s Christ and the Children
These little ones dance
around Jesus—the ones he
just blessed; laughing and
singing, they are unaware
that it is their faith I need.
After Rouault’s Appearance on the Road to Emmaus
“[Rouault’s] angle is “angelic” — half way between heaven and earth.”
Things into which angels long to look. . .
As when Cleopas, learning that Jesus was no longer in the tomb,
wondered and walked with a friend to Emmaus from Jerusalem;
and then they listened to a stranger speak surprising words concerning
the Christ; they wanted to hear more.
That day was bright and sharp—no longer dreary, but dreamlike—
as if the land were bursting into spring-life with its blues, and greens, and reds.
Each single blade of grass, each flower standing tall, each step on the path
was proclaiming a sweet new promise to those burning hearts.
For soon, at a table spread with bread and wine, the eyes of two travelers
would be opened, a stranger would be revealed, and a forever hope would be theirs.
The featured image titled Christ and the Fisherman by George Rouault.
Leslie Anne Bustard takes great joy in loving people and places, whether at church, around her kitchen table, in a classroom, or traveling around. She delights in words and the way poets and storytellers put them together, and marvels at the beauty found in the details of ordinary life. Reading, writing, teaching literature, baking, producing high school theater, and museum-ing are some of Leslie’s favorite things. Leslie is the host of The Square Halo, a podcast for Square Halo Books (https://www.squarehalobooks.com/podcasts) and is developing a book titled Wild Things and Castles in the Sky: A Guide to the Best Children’s Books. She and her husband Ned have been married for 30 years and live in a century-old row house in Lancaster City, where they raised their three daughters.