Stations of the Cross X: a soldier

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.'

Luke 23:33-34 (NRSV)


10. a soldier

what you have to do
is remember
that they deserve this.

even if you do not know why
even if you wonder if they really--

they do.

that is the only way
to sleep at night
after the screaming
after the wailing
and today it is too much
there are too many people
and i hope they do not see my face.
because i don't know
about this one.

stop it.
do not think
of their screams as their own
think of their screams
as the screams of whoever they have hurt.

do not question.
do not look them in the eye.

i won't be able to sleep again.


Merciful God, You search and know each one of us.  Help us to discern what is right, even and especially when that is at odds with what the world asks us to do. Give us Your eyes to see each other’s pain that we might bring Your comfort and healing to all in need.  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