Today at my home church, the sermon was based on John 21:18, where Jesus tells Peter that he will be led to where he does not want to go. The topic is death. For our series on Peter, there has been some sort of artist (visual, musical, text, dance) who has illustrated in some way, what the sermon is about. Today was my turn and though I haven’t been home for over two months, I was able to participate by sending the following poem. It struck me that in the following verse, after Jesus tells Peter that he’s going to be led to where he does not want to go, he tells him to follow him.
Where You Do Not Want to Go
Follow me, Peter!
You will be lead to where you do not want to go,
But follow me!
I too have gone where I did not want.
I begged my Father to take the cup away
But he didn’t
And I followed where he led.
I was whipped, beaten, cursed, abandoned.
I did not want to go that route
But I followed my Father.
Now, follow me!
Follow me to the place that frightens you,
To the place of pain, abandonment, death.
Follow me because I love you
And my way is best
Despite where it will lead.
Follow me, Debbie!
I’ve led you many places you did not want to go
But follow me.
Follow me though I took your dad when you were young,
Your sister when she was estranged
Your son much too soon.
Follow me despite the pain of suicide
And broken loved ones who had no hope.
You did not want to go there,
To the place of grief, mourning, loss and death
But follow me
And know that I am God.
Follow me, you who mourn
For mother lost,
For brother, cousin, uncle, friend.
To the place of death and rest.
Find peace here.
You too will die
But those who die in me are blessed.
I take the righteous to spare them from evil
So follow me.
Follow me in death.
Follow me beyond
Where tears are dried,
Where death has ceased
And mourning, crying, pain are gone.
Follow me to where you do not want
For I will give you rest.
I am with you.
I love you.
You can trust that I am good.
So follow me.
(c) 2014 Debbie Haughland Chan