Ryan Helvoigt

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The Stones and the Bread

“Command these stones.”
The taunt reverbs
within the hollow
stomach grumbling
for bread. The daily
need felt and furrowing
resolve for reliance.

The devil doesn’t know
Jesus asked for stones, for
“Which one of you, if his son
asks for bread
will give him a stone?”
How much more the heavenly
Father granted stones.

Maybe they reminded him
Of the task. The hearts
too cold for life—
Ezekiel’s breathless bones
dry for want of every word
coming from God’s mouth—
stones destined for flesh.

Those stones stayed stones
and he—the flesh—became
the bread broken,
handed out to hollow
sinners seeking fullness,
filling all who receive the command,
“Come, buy, and eat!”

“The Stones and the Bread,” read by Ryan Helvoigt.

Ryan Helvoigt ​is a poet living in Durango, CO with her husband and two children. She holds an MDiv in Missions from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her work has appeared in Fathom Magazine.

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Artwork: Temptation of Christ by Vasily Surikov, 1872. Public Domain.

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