“What I Saw”

by Brenna Pierson

I saw Jesus in church today,
but not where you’d expect.
Not over the alter, nor hanging
up high on the crucifix.

Instead, He was near to me,
His heart in a retarded girl—
at least labeled “retarded”
by this cold-hearted world.

That day, she came to sit beside me,
and though I knew her not,
she stood by me and smiled so warm
it livened up my heart.

And then, for no reason at all,
she took my hand at mass,
and as I turned and wondered why,
she just smiled more, alas.

She didn’t even know me.
Our paths had never met.
I had no real idea
what these actions truly meant.

Who was she really?
Just a child who happened that one day
to sit by me at mass,
a stranger, tagging her mom’s way.

She reached out and took my hand
because I happened there
to be in her reach, and so her smile
she shared without a care.

And her pure heart knew something
we all forget in this cold world:
Jesus loves all his children, unconditionally,
no questions asked, just as this girl.

He smiles at us, takes our hand
just because we’re here.

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