In the great window over the altar,
Jesus with flowing blond hair,
tall and straight like a Doric column,
ruby-red mantle draped over left
shoulder, right hand raised.
Beatific expression on his too-pale
face, but the most remarkable feature,
apart from the sun-fueled intensity
of the jeweled glass, is the artist’s
representation of the feet of Christ,
glowing white, fanned together
in a most unnatural position, as if
he does not stand but rather levitates
over the adjacent panels below,
the intent presumably to show
Christ as mediator between
heaven and earth, a protective
comforter hovering over the
congregants. And yet the effect
proves distancing, surreal.
The priest reads the Gospel,
the story of the sinful woman
who washes Jesus’ feet with
tears and dries them with her
hair focusing greater attention
on those translucent feet,
perhaps the feet of divinity
being the only part for which
we mortals can aspire to reach.
Note: The window’s location is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
T. Allen Culpepper