Anna, The Prophet
by Ivan J. Kauffman (He Was Here, Brazos Press, 2000).
The prophet is old and stooped over, her face covered with wrinkles, like Mother Teresa. He eyes are bright and clear, like a child's. She is beaming with excitement and obviously has something important to tell us. Her voice is quiet and peaceful, but also convinced and powerful. As she speaks she constantly looks up, seaching for the next word, which produces gaps in her speech, as age as produced gaps in her teeth. The boundary between the present and the eternal has long ago begun to dissolve for her.
The Biblical Account of Jesus' Pesentation in the Temple:
"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the chld to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem." Luke 2:22, 36-38.
ANNA THE PROPHET
What we're waiting for.
His parents came to the temple this morning!
Cutest little thing!
Every baby, we always wondered, is this the one?
Then we'd say, "Maybe the next one."
The Roman's told us to stop.
They said, "We're it. Get used to it."
But all they had was soldiers, what could they do?
Make work for the grave diggers.
If that's all there is, why bother?
We don't need more dead bodies to bury.
We need people to pray.
It's the only thing that works.
I'm eighty-four years old.
People ask me why I don't give up.
I say, "I'm waiting."
They say, "What for."
I say, "The same thing you are."
That's why you can't get on a train if you don't have a ticket.
You wouldn't know when to get off.
People don't understand that.
They say, "What you see is what you get."
But what you see is what you're lookin' for.
Forget about the pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by stuff.
Dreams never turn out the way we think.
There's got to be real babies.
Somebody you can feel their heart beat.
Change their diapers.
People who pray understand.
The others mostly stand around and argue.
Who ever changed anything arguing?
The prayers, they're up to Yahweh,
Who knows what Yahweh can do?
That should make even the sourpusses happy.
Well, it's time for me to go now.
But you--you stay and have a party.
Sing a lot,
Kiss the girls,
It's gonna be a great time.
Merry Christmas, friends. Enjoy the party.