Soliloquy For Judas Essay, Research Paper
A soliloquy for Judas
Was I so wrong, so arrogant? Maybe it is right that I found my way here, a place where life has lost its plan, its blueprint. A land, I thought, so rich with promise when first I saw it. I saw diversity and young life springing from the ground. Only now I see the truth; stunted shrubs, misshapen weeds, and this lone tree that so resembles a withered, angry old hag. These things are now my proud testament to deeds not fully understood, even by me. I stand now, confused and alone, in this rocky and unforgiving place of solemn purpose. Did fortune so well know me as to guide my hand in its purchase? It is precisely these times when even a well-propertied man can find himself alone, so alone, so soul shatteringly alone.
If I could but remember now the joy of finding your glory and power resting in a man. The wondrous thoughts of freedom, answered prayers, the knowledge of total and eminent destruction of our oppressors, all these sang in my heart with golden voices. I felt, at hand, a proclamation. The substance of which was the peace of a cleansed earth, an earth with none but the righteous children of God, maintaining the law. I was privileged to watch as your son gathered a massive army using nothing, nothing but acts of compassion and love. Saw patience and wisdom in his words and deeds as he carefully garnered his power; and the foresight, oh yes, the foresight, to harvest the poor and unclean masses, a cunning maneuver. They could be so useful in our battles, and after our great victory, I could see where those deserving few that aided us could be brought fully into the law.
I was awed by his authority, the way he forgave sins, healed the sick, and comforted the masses. Every kind of proof he gave I witnessed–everything–everything from feeding the multitudes to raising the dead. Maybe I should have listened more to the man though, as did my friend Peter. Would it have been much help? I wonder. Probably not; I saw too much the power, remembered too much the promises, the promises of a fiery sword, wielded by a just and noble messiah. Oh my dear Lord, hear me! I am a good man, a just man, a knowledgeable man, well taught by your rabbis and your prophets. I know and keep the law.
What has befallen my mind? Why are things so? To know the simpleness of “an eye for an eye” and the undemanding power of the sword are paths I could freely walk. Why has your son so bruised my feet?
I think, “what if,” but there is no echo to “what if” that comes back to me out of my private thoughts. Must I keep wiping this rain of sorrow from my face? Gentle friend–now groaning, once I held a place of honor with you. I beseech you, let loose your might–stop this wasteful torment. Will you force me to confess to the Lord, “My master is dying from me?” My Lord, I come before you as Isaac. My Lord, I come before you as Abraham.
I will ask your forgiveness with the dearest price I have to give unto you in sacrifice–my life; take it gladly, for life is now a rash that plagues me. It is the pain of your son’s agony that confounds my thoughts, gives my heavy heart no room to breathe.
An easy matter really for you, master. Just make things right. I have seen you do so much more than this little thing. Please, my master, take away this burden you have placed upon my name; I find it so grievous to bear. Lord, tell me, how could I not have invented a wiser plan to aid your work? Your gift to our people I so blindly abused. It came so simple to me, the idea, to use your gift as a butcher uses his knife–carving a fine trim of meat. Oh, why? Why could you not have made your gift a Judean? Why a Galilean?
A Galilean, in his simple ways, could not know the depths of rage or hate that fire a Judean furnace. See now, Lord, how much easier and understandable it would have been to fulfill our dreams? Someway, somehow, the purpose was lost in bringing the glory of your name to flesh. Can’t you see? I say not me, but the truth is plain; the claim could have been equally as justified in a Judean–like myself.
As I sat in the place of honor, with you, my master, not more than mere heartbeats past, could you not feel my true conflict? From your lips fell heavy stones that beat down upon my resolve, until you pronounced your commandment “What you do, do quickly.” With sadness, I saw your lack of enthusiasm. But I knew–I knew–once started, your power and glory would awaken. It would awaken in all its awesome and righteous might. I needed my time to run out just right. Realizing that should I bring the Sanhedrens’ men too soon, you would be supported by only our troupe, and as much as I respect Peter’s sword-arm, he would not be enough. No, the perfect place, the perfect time, must be in a supportive public group, and must be when that group is still in the persuasion of their cups. Time and time again I mislead the foolish guards, waiting for the right wind to blow, a sound wind, one that would properly separate the wheat from the chaff. Not much longer could I delay in bringing them unto you; even fools after a time can determine when they are being fooled. With the breaking of light it came time to harvest the spirited masses and to reap the fever of justice on so many a watching brow.
The guards now committed, even to death, knew they were just now mere pebbles before the oncoming wave. The people around us, a thousand raindrops, gathered. And the kiss, how to tell someone what it is like to be just a man and to bring about a new age with only a pressing of the lips. The vision of time and fate was powerfully on my eyes. No other purpose, no other fire could distract my holy mission. Birth was upon us. Peter drew his sword. A guard’s ear fell. Judea’s hope poised itself on the thread of your words. The certainty of “now” struggled for existence.
But still-borne came that hope, and dreams then faded to half remembered ideas of campfire promises. You spoke then no words of power, but the failings of strength turned to flesh. To be so bold–may I ask, how true is it, my master, if one dies by the sword without ever living by it? What strength is there in submission to an enemy that knows not God?
It is in questing that I looked for answers never spoken. It is here now beneath the limbs of this tree I come to give proof of my devotion. I bind now an arm of this haggard tree, oh Lord, with one end of the sash from my dampened robe. I count it good that a light, dry wind helps prepare my face for our meeting.
Should now, I wonder, it not be wise to wait? Would maybe one day, two days, or even three days wait bring ease to an ugly face? Or is it in not waiting that I find my test given? Will the Maker of all things that blessed me once, withhold now his hand from my life? Lord, with this, my sash, I make a binding to still the quivering of my throat.
Can not a sign be given, at least, now to lead my eyes to truth? Any little thing to touch my heart would be welcomed. With no hope of recognition for my masters’ love, will I find no more delay? Must in begging for a sign, any sign, I wait? It will be with relief that I silence these demons of doubt. Soon, it must be soon, for sand has joined the burning wind to taunt me in my last reveries.
Will the others of our troop ever know the love I held for them? Is there one among them who will don his shoes, as I did mine, and in doing so–smile at the memory of this face? Will there, before I go, be a vision to comfort me? Alas, I climb into this old hag’s arms, and overcoming the difficulties of strangely weak branches, I am now finally ready.
Oh Lord, who will pray for me? Lord, as I commit my soul unto the bosom of Abraham, I ask–was I so wrong?