I walked to the top of the hill and saw him there.
He had gashes on his legs, and there was blood in his hair.
But he somehow walked proudly and even seemed to grin,
As the blood from his hair dripped down on the top of his shin.
He spoke not a word, though, when he walked up to me.
He just smiled and slowly bent down on one knee.
And he looked up at my face and studied my eyes,
Unconcerned that I might harm him by force or with lies.
And trusting me so, he rose to his feet,
Wiped the blood from his visage and tried to look neat.
And in awe of his mettle, I touched him on the arm,
Hoping to convey that I felt no need to do him any harm.
He responded to my gesture by holding out his hand.
And when we gripped, I felt his power and struggled just to stand.
But I somehow kept my footing and felt quite proud to see,
That a man with such resilience might make a friend of me.
And as I wiped away the blood that trickled down his face.
He told me of his purpose and explained to me his case.
Which was to endure all man’s evil and instill in him the good.
Even if it meant enduring pain that no other mortal could.
And on that day, he taught me many different things.
Especially the joy that helping others always brings.
And I promised him then that I would try my best to carry on his will.
For I could see him slowly dying, as he sat there very still.
As the minutes slowly passed us by, his injuries took their toll.
And when he gripped my hand again, I realized my role,
Which was to serve all those around me, just as he had always done.
And I knew right then I could never stop until a victory was won.
And as if believing in my promise could bring him back to life,
His sudden burst of energy made me brave to face the strife.
He wiped his face clean again and although his legs were scarred and torn,
He looked to be a symbol of strength, alert and now reborn.
Once up on his feet, the sky lit up, as if it to make it known,
That this man had passed every last test, had made it on his own.
And as he pulled himself along, he raised his hands to the sky.
Then he tried to walk with dignity before he said goodbye.
And only after he was gone, did I understand the plan.
For this was no mere mortal, no ordinary man.
So, as for those true believers, those who understood his worth,
This was their chance to honor the one who was sent to save the Earth.
And as I finally understood it; I knew exactly what to do.
Whatever it took – and no matter what might befall me – I had to see his plan through.
For it truly was my privilege to witness such an act of will.
And with that thought, I turned around and headed down the hill.
©1985 by John L. Fischer