Poems, Personals, and Commentary

Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

Woman at the Well

No one else could make me see,
My faults, my failings,
Without embarrassing me.

I suddenly
Came face to face
With my selfishness.

I still don’t know
If I see it all.

Broken Sidewalks

[Memories from my teenage years…
I hope people can relate it to their own unique identity struggles,
whatever your ethnicity, religion, or other unique characteristics.
We all have them, and they are all valuable.]

Playing hooky from Biology class,
I walked on broken sidewalks,
The weeds poking through the cracks.

I passed white picket fences
And Victorian houses.
The old immigrants lived there —
the Portuguese, the Italians.
I felt the oldness of it all,
The vines growing on creaky fences.

The sidewalks broken —
like my old life.

I confessed to the Biology teacher.
He forgave me; he was a kindly man.

It was a town of immigrants —
But not my own people —  then.
(Didn’t realize I was an American!)
I spoke Hungarian —
not Italian, nor Portuguese, nor Gaelic —
No other Hungarians in town.

Lord, where do I belong?

You are my Rock and my Anchor;
You knew me all the time.

I’ll forever be an exile on earth —
But I’ll come home to You.

“For everyone has sinned …”

Once I was watching a documentary about the Nuremberg Trials (in which prominent Nazis were on trial for World War II war crimes). A Jewish man who was present related how he suddenly fainted during the testimony of one of the accused. When asked why he fainted, he said, “Suddenly I realized that I, too, was capable of the same horrible actions.”

We ALL need forgiveness.  We cannot do any good without God’s help.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)

Goodbye to a Friend (Reprise)

Lord, when the feelings end,
And things are still the same,
It takes some faith
For feelings great,
To love without pretense.

When things seem all awry,
When it’s so hard to try,
Must just express
Some bitterness,
And then let bitterness die.

Who did I think you were
That you should meet all needs?
You’re just a person
Whom I conversed with —
Not God, to Whom I plead.

Warmth in the Cold

Warmth in the cold — how often do we take it for granted?

A fire, a heater in our home, a warm jacket, a cap that covers our head and ears, a warm scarf, socks and shoes or boots, blankets, quilts, or comforters.  And how about the warmth of a smile, a hug, a gentle voice, a forgiving or encouraging friend?

I once stayed a weekend at a cabin in Grass Valley, California.  All the heating, cooking, and hot water was produced by burning wood.  On mornings there would be a designated person who got up first and got the fire going for heating the cabin.  People took turns because it wasn’t so pleasant getting up in the cold.  Then, if you wanted to get clean in the shower, water had to be heated by burning wood.  Cooking was a lot more work, too.  In the United States and other places, we take our electric or gas heaters and ovens for granted.

So today, let’s be grateful for warmth.  And Lord, help us to offer your warmth to someone today.

Motivations

[Here I am imagining (sometimes about myself) the deeper motivations people
have for their actions, the motivations that we might not be aware of.]

When I turned my face away from you,
Maybe I just didn’t want you to see me cry.

When I didn’t speak,
Maybe I was afraid I would yell at you.

When I laughed loudly and annoyingly,
Maybe I needed attention.

When I hurt you with my words,
Maybe I hadn’t dealt with my own hurt.

When I seemed to ignore your pain,
Maybe I hadn’t let God heal my pain.

When I got violent,
Maybe I was extremely frustrated,
And no one had ever taught me how to deal with it.
No one was there to guide me,
To help me find better ways to deal with anger.

When you listened to me,
I began to heal.

When I asked your forgiveness,
I began to heal.

Don’t Throw It All Away

Don’t throw it all away …
So you’ve messed up,
You’ve screwed up —
Keep your head up.

Don’t throw it all away …
In your anger, in your pride,
Don’t allow the pain inside
The truth to override.

Don’t throw it all away …
Life’s too precious,
Infectious;
God’s perfecting us.

Don’t throw it all away …
God still loves you,
He’ll protect you;
Don’t listen to what others say.

The backbiters,
The infighters,
The naysayers,
The faith slayers.

Don’t listen to the “no” sayers.

It’s not up to them or you.
Surely God’s word is true.
Don’t believe lies
And don’t compromise.

The fact that He loves you,
The truth that He died for you,
His heart surely burns for you,
You must let Him live in you.

Only a Shadow

Today I see Your beauty,
An ever-changing sight,
But really just a shadow —
Creation mirrors Your light.

The wonders You have fashioned
Are merely slightest glimpse
Of Your majestic glory,
Your awesome pow’r intense.

The roaring river waters,
The waves that rise and fall,
The quietness of shallows,
The soaring eagle’s call.

But sure Your greatest wonder,
The utmost height of all,
Is how You love Your creatures,
Though oft’ we gravely fall.

The Gift of Guilt

I once was amazed by a statement in a book by Peter Kreeft (can’t recall which book) that “The Jews gave us the gift of guilt.” In current times, most of us avoid the idea of guilt and find it very negative. To think of guilt as “a gift” was thought-provoking.

Here’s my take on it, but I am not an expert:
1) Guilt is a gift when I have broken one of God’s laws. This might be thought of as the Ten Commandments, or the “two greatest commandments”: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Have I done evil, or have I failed to do the good I had the means to do?
2) It is a gift if I allow the guilt to bring me to repentance.
3) It is a gift if after repenting, I freely accept forgiveness.

Guilt can be a gift like a cancer diagnosis. You did not perhaps know you had cancer until the doctor informed you. Now that you are informed, things can be done to destroy or remove the cancer. The guilt is the impetus, like the awareness following the diagnosis, to take action.

In Wretched Stable

Light in the darkness,
Peace in the storm;
In wretched stable
Our Savior was born.

Forgiveness for sinners,
Hope for the lost;
Hatred now broken —
At unmeasured cost.

Love brought to sinners,
The ugly made whole;
To broken and battered
He shows heaven’s door.

Friend to unlovely,
Lost and forlorn —
Caught in sin’s prison,
The fetters are torn.

Come, all you people
Sing now His praise.
The One who will save us
Is Jesus by name.

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