Stations of the Cross I: a son of Zebedee

This Holy Week, we are excited to partner with a queer/trans/non-binary Christian poet and writer, Slats, to produce a series of reflections based on the Stations of the Cross.  From Palm Sunday through Good Friday, we will post two reflections on our blog and social media each day. Each of Slats’ reflections will focus on a different participant in the events remembered in the Stations.  Slats’ poetry and writing will challenge us to expand our sense of what it means to bear witness to the story of Jesus’ passion by looking at it through different eyes.  


Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’

Matthew 26:36-41 (NRSV)


1. a son of Zebedee

do not speak to me
if you do not know--

don't you dare judge me
(i do enough of that myself)
unless you have felt--

i didn't know.
we so rarely get to know.

so do not say what you would have done
unless you, too, have found out too late
that this time was the last:
the last time to hold their hand
the last meal you'd eat together
the last moment of raucous laughter
the last shared glance
the last time to simply be
the last.

and you missed it.

and suddenly,
they were


do not talk to me,
unless you know this pain.

...but if you do,
could you come, please?
sit a while?
stay with me?
because after all of this
i cannot sleep


Eternal God, You are the one who watches over us without slumbering or sleeping.  Forgive us for how we fail to recognize You in every moment.  Help us not to rush past the signs You give to us, so that we may be able to discern the path that You would have us take.  Amen.



Slats (they/them/theirs) is a queer/trans/nonbinary Presbyterian (PCUSA). They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and a Master of Divinity and they deeply love liturgy and hymnody.  They write, preach, teach and often work as a director and sound designer for live theater.  They are currently in the ordination process, and spend much of their time working toward claiming queer/trans space in Christianity.

Slats' website is and their book, Queering Lent, can be found at