A Response to the Letter to the Hebrews:

By wisdom Adam and Eve were led to taste the fruit of knowledge
And to step from the narrow garden of innocence into the wide world of experience.

With wisdom Noah acted when his world was drowning in disaster.
With wisdom Abraham left all he knew and wandered through the desert.

With wisdom Moses led his people from bondage
And by wisdom Miriam sealed their freedom with song.

With wisdom Buddha made love, compassion, and peace his practice
And with wisdom Jesus pleaded in Gethsemane, “Stay awake with me.”

Wisdom carried Muhammad beyond the galaxies and back
To point a finger toward the oneness.

Wisdom turned Dominic from the dead skins of his books
To the living skins of the suffering.

By wisdom Joan of Arc found the courage to follow her beliefs even unto death.
By wisdom Gandhi refused violence and insisted on truth.
By wisdom King led his people to freedom,
Though he knew he would not make it there with us.

Shall I go on? There isn’t enough time to name them all.

They were feed to lions and fierce fires.  Others died under torture.
They were mocked and whipped and tied up and thrown in prison.
They were stoned and pierced with bullets.

They went around clothed in the skins of goats,
Poor, persecuted, and mistreated.  They wandered as refugees.
They never found peace.  They never reached paradise.

But their lives had a further purpose that is made perfect only in us.
And what of us?  Having so vast a cloud of witnesses around,
We must wake up to wisdom.  Not in the hereafter,
But here, at work, in debt.