June/July 2013 - Vol. 68

Zacchaeus being called down from the tree - by William Hole

Zacchaeus’ Tall Tale

poem by Jeanne Kun

Until Zacchaeus was visited so long ago
by saving grace in Jericho,
he’d known no joy nor satisfaction
in all that he’d possessed or wrongly gained.
Instead, he’d yearned for something he could not attain:
The sight of you, 0 Lord, eluded him,
for he was small of stature (and of heart).

But throwing off his dignity and pride,
he climbed the sycamore and
grew taller than he’d ever been before.
And from this new height,
he won his first glimpse of you.

Passing by that blessed tree,
you probed its leafy shelter with keen eyes;
and catching sight of the chief of tax collectors
perched (as if awaiting fate — or was it grace he hoped to meet there?)
so precariously in his post,
you stripped bare his soul
and looked into his longing.
Then suddenly sure with knowledge of his need,
you offered yourself to him as guest:

Zacchaeus, make haste and come down;
for I must stay at your house today.

Honored by such favor and request,
gladly did Zacchaeus descend
to be host and welcome you into his home and heart.
And as that humbled heart swelled great with generosity
in gratitude that you’d so gifted him with grace,
more gladly still did he give half his goods away
and repay fourfold his failings.
Yet far greater was the recompense that he received:
Since salvation came that happy day to him and all his house,
the little man’s no longer stunted by his greed and ill-gotten gains.
Growing to full stature in you, 0 Lord,
Zacchaeus now stands straight and tall.

> See related article: Zacchaeus' Life-changing Encounter with Jesus.

[Jeanne Kun is a noted author and a senior woman leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Copyright © 2004 by Jeanne Kun. Used with permission.]

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