Abba Jacob and The Theologian
by Marilyn Nelson
Thanking him for spending
the entire afternoon
and half the dinner hour
discussing the various ramifications
of the essentially paradoxical nature
the theologian interrupts her first
spoonful of lentils
to lean forward again
and cut off
the flow of God.
Reverend Father, she asks,
what is the highest spiritual value?
Abba Jacob looks to heaven
Humor, he says.
Not seriously, of course.
Originally published in Magnificat (1994)
Republished in The Fields of Praise (1997)
Image: Marilyn age 4, photo: Melvin M. Nelson, Sr.