One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” -Luke:39-43
The Good Thief
I am a very good thief. There is nothing I cannot steal.
It is my profession. Nothing is safe from me.
Your darkened home is my domain.
Your purse, your ox, your children, your wife all were within my reach.
All that catches my eye is mine to possess.
Maybe it’s the danger. The thrill of getting caught appeals.
It is all I’ve ever known. It came so naturally.
The darkness is my ally.
It hides my deeds, my guilt, my shame. It masks all that I am.
It has always consumed the light. It possesses me.
One day I was caught up by righteous men.
My luck had run out. My secret revealed.
Justice would soon be passed
All that I have done would now be shown to the world.
I would be on display an example of recrimination.
They hung me on a cross with yet another thief.
A brother of the art. A citizen of darkened places.
Between us was a carpenter.
A man without the stain of larceny. Without the stain of sin.
And yet, his punishment was more brutal than our own.
My brother taunted. Out of pain he lashed out.
But this man had only pity for us.
His compassion extended beyond the cross.
As he was pulled apart He forgave those around Him
He turned to look at me and in his eyes I found peace.
This man had done no wrong. Had committed no crime.
We thieves deserved our fate for all that we were.
I asked him to remember me
when he came before God. He promised to take me to paradise.
He became my advocate, my judge, my redeemer.
I was a very a good thief. There was nothing I could not steal.
It was my profession. Nothing was safe from me.
The darkened world was my domain.
All was within my reach. All was mine to possess.
And in the end, I stole my way into heaven. I was a very good thief.
Copyright 2012 by Jose Antonio Ponce