Stations of the Cross VI: the one with the whip

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face.

John 19: 1-3 (NRSV)


6. the one with the whip

it is amazing;
the things
that become

amazing is maybe not the write word
intense, or
horrifying, or
unreal, or
disturbing, or

a job is a job and
coin is coin and
excuses are excuses.

they say this one is God.
but the flesh still yields.

my merit is that i am honest
everyone knows the purpose of this whip.
but just as i raise my arm to strike a body
i see the strike of words that wounds the heart
the strike of indifference that starves desires
the strike of hatred that tears apart.

it is heartbreaking;
the things
that become

the tearing and
the bleeding and
the breaking

it is not just this God--
it is the whole world.

did You want to experience the world?
this is it.


Sovereign God, You have written the names of all in creation on Your hands.  Help us to no longer let hatred, violence, and destruction become normal.  Invite us into deeper awareness so that we might disrupt the systems that allow us to demonize each other.  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