The images on this page are photographs of clay tiles I created for a series called, The Stations of the Cross: The Weight of Dust. As I shaped the clay and constructed the simple pine frames I experienced the humanity of Jesus and the people around him. The use of the heart to depict Jesus expressed that human connection, as did the poems that I wrote for each tile.
As I sought to name the collection, I expressed the human dimension in “the weight of dust.” Out of dust we were made and to dust we will return. The 14 tiles have been on temporary loan to churches in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. and are still available for that purpose. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com to discuss availability.
A book of the images and poems is available as a kindle download at http://amzn.to/1UDCkMH Studio printed copies of the book are $30.00 and available by special order. In the store you can purchase correspondence cards containing the image and the poem for friends or as a personal devotional opportunities.
Jesus Is Condemned to Death
I find it hard
to believe that Jesus
is condemned to death.
He spoke of loving others,
of giving forgiveness to even his enemies
while these his enemies conspire
to take his life.
Why do they fear Jesus,
a heart that cares about the least,
the un-noteworthy, the last in line…
Is it because these are the ones
who could do nothing
to satisfy their public needs?
Today God’ s Heart of Flesh
is crucified by hearts of stone.
The Cross Is Laid Upon Him
When they laid the cross on your back, Jesus
what did your heart do and your blood pressure.
When they laid the cross on your back
it was a physical experience not a spiritual triumph.
When they laid the cross on your back
it was heavy with the weight of
wood and nails and fear–
active and passive.
Jesus Falls the First Time
Jesus, I leave now.
The cross upon your back
was hard enough to witness–
Now you fall.
I don’t want a stumbling God.
I don’t want a God who ends up in the dirt.
Yet there is something compelling here.
I’ll walk a little farther.
Jesus Sees His Mother
In Her Image….
He looked down and for a moment
the agony that shook his body split open–
it was her face that broke the darkness
and spoke to him the beauty of his life.
How he cradled in her womb
as the donkey bounced to Bethlehem,
then the cradle of her arms
as they took the road to Egypt– to safety–
of the many ways she’d loved him
and let him go in God.
Now she stood with her friends and his
refusing the safety of not seeing, and he loved her–
so many memories of goodness
lit the space between them–
“John”, he said before the agony closed in again,
“be to her, her son.”
Simon Compelled to Carry the Cross
That hand, Jesus–
How big it must have looked to you,
a human hand stretched out
lifting your burden.
Hand of one unknown to you,
a hand in the crowd of mixed intentions.
Hand compelled by love or virtue or
simply the rule of current law,
but hand interrupting the circle of violence
in one small opportunity;
For one large moment:
Hand of God.
His Face Washed by Veronica
The sweat salted his face, stung his eyes
as he tried to see beyond the pain to the path
to the rocky ground and the crowd
friends and enemies and those attracted by
the drama of the hour.
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani.”
Then he saw her stepping forward
from the faces moving in and out of focus.
She reached toward him
holding up both hands to keep her balance
stretching upward to reach his face
her eyes hidden by the cloth
cloth to clear the sweat
cloth to bring the touch of comfort
cloth to companion him on his journey
Jesus Falls a Second Time
Your mother, Jesus– staying with you,
and the woman who reached up to you
with a simple piece of cloth–
Love given and received.
Somehow it is not the pain
and the violence that affects me now
but something more important–
something more eternal than this moment.
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
I had to be there.
It seemed unusually hot and dusty.
Maybe it was the pain
and the anger I felt around me and inside.
I brought my children.
There was no one to watch out for them.
Everyone was at the crucifixion spectacle,
and my children had seen violence from soldiers.
With me, at least they could hold my hands
and I could comfort them against his pain,
for we had grown to love Jesus.
I thought, “I can keep them safe.”
But can I keep them safe in a world
that would do this to Jesus?
I remember what he said,
“Do not weep for me, but for yourselves
and for your children.” He loved us–
it was obvious from the time we met him
when he played with the children
when we heard him listening to us.
With all his suffering
he let us know his love for us
could not be washed away by pain–
though perhaps it was this deep regard
he had for us,
the women and our children,
that brought him to this road.
We didn’t stay long.
If I cannot keep the children safe
at least I could bring them home
and comfort their hearts,
listen to them as Jesus did.
Maybe someday It will be enough.
Jesus Falls the Third Time
Your weakness grows more evident, Jesus.
You fall again.
The women of Jerusalem who cried for you–
wept– reached out– you thought of them,
not yourself. I will not abandon a God
who stumbles for all the right reasons.
We’re almost to the hill.
Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
Ever since the time of Eden
when they knew their nakedness, clothing
has touched the layer between the world and the soul–
What more than life itself could be taken from us?
They stripped him of his garments.
Father, forgive them, all and each.
It is done.
Into your hands.
Death on the Cross
The heart of flesh
has done its work.
Earth and heaven join.
Time joins timeless.
Body Taken Down From the Cross
I joined this walk at its beginning
and now the end has come, Jesus.
The dust clings to your body now
because you did not hide from
what you knew of God,
and you spoke it clearly.
I claim your journey as my own.
Jesus Is Laid in The T omb
What if Jesus couldn’t rise
held in that tomb because he
wanted to change the world the way
he thought it should have worked.
Suppose he’d said to Papa-God,
“I’ll do it this way or not at all”
and made himself a tomb-space
where he could live forever dead.
What if he had rolled himself into
despair inside that sepulcher…
curled around his anger cold or hot,
about a world so unredeemable
it chose to kill him.
Jesus, your courage!
Even in the cold and darkness of a tomb
you still could give your “yes” to God
your “yes” to life
your “yes” to resurrection.
May I who choose
to follow you
do no less.
My book, “Stations of the Cross: The Weight of Dust,” is available for $9.99 in the kindle store at