What if you were a good man after all?
a gentleman misjudged,
a generous person envied,
an authentic man wrongly accused?

What if it wasn’t fear of the crowd
but only your short stature
and your bottomless curiosity
that pushed you up the sycamore tree?

And what if the Master, passing through,
intuiting the sincere beauty that you were,
looked up – longing to meld his loving gaze to yours –
and spoke out your radical goodness
with prophetic courage?

Now I can see the Master
ripping through thick layers
of biased fear, unfounded,
looking beyond the crowd’s ugly thoughts and words of suspicion,
looking beyond the grumbling and gossip,
looking beyond labels and stereotypes.

Now I can hear the Master
speaking in eloquent silence
syllables that resurrect:

“Zaccheus, I know you are really not what they say you are.
You’re all right in my book. Hurry. Come down. I will…

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