Tag Archives: Forgiveness

The Record

It’s really quite long
This record of wrongs
The list that I’ve kept

I love you, it’s true
But my love for you
Is less than ideal

Don’t tell me you don’t
Believe you I won’t
You keep your list too

We’re only human after all
And ever since the Fall
We’ve been tallying scores

We need His love divine
Covering yours and mine
So we might love true

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It’s Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today. The pub opens at noon my time and I’ll be linking this up then. Head on over and see what other poets are serving up.

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If I Had a Gun

The latest mass shooting (I won’t mention which one, because there will likely be another, and this post will apply then) has brought out the gun control and how do we legislate a way to prevent the next one folks. We just need more laws and this violence wouldn’t happen, they say. They forget that Cain killed his brother Abel with a rock when the only laws on the books were to love God and love others.

But no one wants to look into their own heart and see that the possibility for such violence lies therein as well. It’s easier to point at others, at the evil “out there,” and ask how do we stop them.

I am reminded of a time, many years ago, when I was struggling with major clinical depression. My heart was shrouded in darkness and anger. I had been hurt and having never considered forgiveness as a solution, I simply wanted to hurt back.

I remember clearly one day pulling up to a stop light at the end of Hwy 217 in Lake Oswego. I glanced to my left at the man driving the pick-up in the lane next to me. The thought crossed my mind, “If I had a gun I’d shoot him.” That same thought recurred with every man I saw for the next few weeks. I found it incredibly disturbing, but I couldn’t seem to stop it. Although I had no gun and didn’t shoot anyone, I did take my anger out on others during this time, especially my poor long-suffering husband.

Now some might say my story is the perfect example to support the cause of gun control. But that’s not why I share it. I share it because it illustrates the darkness that lurks in the hearts of us all. People who have been hurt—and there are a lot of us—hurt other people if we cling to our anger and don’t forgive. And the only way to truly forgive is through the love and forgiveness of Jesus.

More laws are not the answer to the world’s violence problem. We cannot legislate love and forgiveness. We cannot legislate Jesus.

Paul wrote in Romans 8:3-4: “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh [or sinful nature], God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

What we can do is teach our children to love and forgive by the power and grace of Jesus. And we can examine our own hearts and ask God to shine His light into any darkness therein. If every person on the planet did that, there would be no more violence and hatred. Yet you and I can’t control what others do, not even with laws. We can only control our own response to the hurts we experience in this world.

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Set Free

She drove away from the pizza place
joyful in the knowledge that she had been set free.

No dark cloud appeared.

She realized she was humming along,
tapping her foot to the beat.

As she waited for her pizza to go,
Bad Company played on the radio.

One day, she stopped to get a pizza
on her way home from work.

She felt a weight lifted and joy return.

When she awoke, she knelt and prayed
for the strength to forgive.

One night she dreamed of forgiveness
and knew it was a message from God.

She pondered taking her own life
because she thought she was forever broken.

She spent years in darkness and anger.

She was never the same; whenever she heard Bad Company
a dark cloud would descend upon her.

Afterwards, he drove her home
and left her broken upon her doorstep.

Bad Company played on the radio.

He assaulted her in the front seat of his Lincoln.

He asked if she wanted to go to a party
and she said yes because he seemed nice.

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The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write a story in reverse. I couldn’t help but turn each line of this semi-autobiographical story into a verse.

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It’s Never Goodbye

I love to spend time with my friends
We chat, catch up, and share it all
Pick each other up when we fall
I hope our friendship never ends
For hard feelings we’ll make amends
We’ll laugh out loud, or we might cry
You’ll never know the reasons why
Our deep connection, our long bond
Keeps us close today and beyond
It’s see you later, not goodbye

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I’m spending the weekend with two college roommates, dear friends I’ve known for 32 years, and so I wrote this poem a day ahead in honor of our friendship and time together. And of course, I had to write a third décima because they are just too much fun.

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My Road

My road began bright and cheery
Birds sang sweet, lovely flowers bloomed
It would always be I assumed
Then it became dark and dreary
With each step I grew more weary
When I tried to walk all alone
Plagued by despair of being known
Oh grace, you called me back to you
Once again the skies are deep blue
Seeds of hope and forgiveness sown

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Today’s poem is a décima for dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar today. (I cheated and went to Bjorn’s blog to see what the prompt was going to be before it is live at dVerse in my time zone). I’ll be linking at dVerse at noon PST. Head over there this afternoon to see what other décimas the pub folks have to offer.

This is also my Day 21 post for NaPoWriMo.

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Nothin’ But the Blood – An Elfje

Crimson
Jesus’ blood
Trustworthy and true
Mercy to my soul
Salvation

_____________________________

A little elfje for NaPoWriMo Day 15, and while you’re at it check out Jars of Clay and The Blind Boys of Alabama singing Nothin’ But the Blood of Jesus.

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Servant King

Jesus became a servant King
When He washed His disciples feet
This act of love was oh so sweet

Forgiveness His mighty wellspring
As He did sup and share the cup
And with the disciples He’d sing

Earned the right to the judgment seat
When He became a servant King

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At dVerse Poets Pub today Victoria is reviving the Octain Refrain for Meeting the Bar. It is a perfect form for my Maundy Thursday poem.

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Holy Week

On Sunday He was lauded as King
Hosanna the crowd did sing to Him

On Monday He taught in the temple square
in parables of sons and tenants and wedding feasts

On Tuesday His authority was questioned
by those clinging desperately to their own

On Wednesday He taught the greatest commandment
was love of God, and love of one’s neighbor was second

On Thursday He supped with His disciples
washed their feet and prayed His Father’s will

On Friday they crucified Him, we crucified Him
with the multitude of sins He willingly paid for

On Saturday His followers hid away afraid
grieving a loss they didn’t at all understand

On Sunday, oh sweet Sunday
He rose again, He is risen indeed

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Choices

A forced grin
a false I’m okay
are all I’ve got

It’s been three years,
three years today
since you left

with me not knowing
not for sure anyway
where you have gone

Heaven or hell
those are the choices
Which did you choose?

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At dVerse Poets Pub today we’re writing Quadrilles with the word “grin.” Because today is the third anniversary of my sister’s untimely death-by-cancer, I knew I wanted to write something about that. Then Bjorn threw me for a loop with the word “grin,” which is generally a happy thing. But sometimes grins aren’t what they appear.

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A Heart Like Mine

Praise and thanksgiving
for my good deeds
can quite easily lead
to thinking I’m good enough
all on my own
I don’t need God’s mercy

Comparing myself
to the evil all around me
can inflate my self-esteem
just the same

But when I peel back
the layers of my heart
Peer at what’s beneath
the kindness and goodness
that on the surface reside
I see a different story

I see petty jealousy
that another should have
an opportunity for rest
that I feel I’ve been denied

Another layer and I see
anger and unforgiveness
over a recurring transgression
even though Jesus commanded
I forgive to infinity

Another layer and I see
bitterness and frustration
towards those I claim to love
Yet I hold onto this
record of wrongs
revisiting each transgression
to fuel the fire of indignation

And I see doubt
that God will ever answer
my prayers for change
my prayers for healing
I see impatience
quickness to anger

I see a heart
that wants to be
consoled with food—cookies and chips
with entertainment distractions
and all those things
that do my body and soul
no earthly or heavenly good

As I peel back the layers
I see a heart in desperate need
of a Savior and of mercy
and I wonder at His patience
with a heart that’s prone to wander
I wonder at His grace
and delay of justice
for a heart like mine

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