I wish I could take some credit for it, but I can’t. I wish I could say that it was somehow my doing, but the little I did do was afforded to me by someone else. Even that was — and is — an act of faith, given to me in some portion each day as I apparently need it.

What tender mercy he brings to a household in a womb; the throbbing heartbeat of a God whose justice runs red against the door. His sacrifice; my salvation.

But, there is death. The destroyer of body and soul moves like a sweeping scythe. And some, for reasons I don’t understand, are not saved. Some. Too many. Bitter herbs choked by weeds or never-rooted and trampled by the killing angels. Old wounds.

A different doorpost is covered now in a different blood. A different sacrifice. A different salvation. A different killing spirit that kills even as He resurrects. Death, once feared, is now no threat; a chasing Pharoah and his army, drowned in a curtain of baptism. The watery circumcism that draws His blood has splashed away the old conqueror. Blood and bread to commune with the Almighty.

Bodies are piling up. The stench is bitter and sad. A blood transfusion is needed to stop the spread of the disease, but their skin is thick like crocodile scales. Time tick tocks and tick tocks and crocodiles run from time.

My feet are tired, but not tired enough. The old sores have gotten soft. I commune like a heathen; no sandals on my feet and no staff in my hand. My green pastures are too close to home; too well-worn and too soft; too familiar.

Do you pass by, God of Abraham? Do you seek out new lands and new little boys who live inside old men to follow you to them? Are there many left who seek you in your golden wake? Son-burned faces and high adventure?

What marks do we bear? Are we foreigners in your land? Do we carry the mark of Cain to the lands of Wandering? Are we lost?

Color us with your blood. Color us with faith.