How Judas Felt

I keep coming back to the story of Judas—why he would betray the man he followed for three years, and whether, had he not killed himself, he too would have seen the face of the living Christ and loved it once again. I don’t know. I’m no advocate for suicide by any means, but I’d love to think that in his case it was a sign of repentance—throwing himself at the mercy of the God of all justice.

I first wrote this poem in 2006 and rewrote it fairly heavily today. I’m still not 100% happy with it; I honestly expect to come back to it multiple times in the future.

Anyway, happy Easter! Christ is risen, despite Judas and Satan’s best efforts.

How Judas Felt

Originally written April 13, 2006

Sometimes I think I know how Judas felt
When he betrayed his best friend with a kiss;
He had to play the hand that he was dealt.

He’d joined them—felt the Master’s presence—dwelt
With him—but the divinity? Dismissed.
Sometimes I think I know how Judas felt.

Greed festered in his heart—grew like a welt—
A lust for power made him treacherous—
He had to play the hand that he was dealt.

Not realizing all the world would melt,
Too late, he realized he was remiss.
Sometimes I think I know how Judas felt.

And can a fractured friendship be rebuilt?
Relationships are wrecked by foolishness.
(He had to play the hand that he was dealt.)

Remorseful, then, he ran, he fell, he knelt,
But found no freedom from his soul’s abyss
Sometimes I think I know how Judas felt—
He had to play the hand that he was dealt.

Image courtesy the Chicago Art Institute

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