Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Tent-Maker's Conversion

Oh tent-maker, so zealous for the Law,
Who once threw stones at martyred men,
And sought imperial permission to persecute,
To seek out those men of strange faith,
Hoping to put an end to their scandalous cult.
What happened to you on that fateful road,
That you now have found a new mandate,
Not fierce persecution but evangelization
Has suddenly become your lifelong commission,
Becoming a leader of those you once condemned.
Was that a true vision which you saw there,
Or did your eyes simply deceive you that night,
As your wits fell asleep after three days' walk,
Your ears fooled by the lonely winds' mourning,
Causing a haunting hallucination spurred by fatigue?
But who ever heard of a mere restless dream
With power so convincing as to sway your heart?
For what but a true vision could compel you
To suffer imprisonment or death in its pursuit,
And giving you a new name, Paul, no longer Saul.
Yet you threw your lot in with these Disciples,
Becoming an Apostle and proselytizer of nations,
Once a persecutor and now a man persecuted--
Tortured, battered, and executed for your faith,
A saint and a pillar in Christ's infant Church.