From A Chapter of 1776
September 22, 2010
There Was A Time When I Was Good At Poetry
September 23, 2010


I would I had the strength to withhold from you the anger which I now feel, for it is an energy put to better uses. But I have long since reconciled its persistence with the basic fact of our human condition; God would not bestow us with emotion if we were not made to acknowledge it.

Though the question it concerns is not easily dealt with when the mind is on fire. I accept the call to mercy and forgiveness as my privilege equal to my responsibility in the faith. I have long exhausted you with tracts on the gift of mercy, meant to encourage you to display it better. For if the work is done by God, what good reason do we have for not engaging in it?

But moments descend upon me that I could not have foreseen, which no human being of my ken could, in full strength and pillared conscience, endure. I cannot, in these instances, be made to feel the pressure of my faith bearing down upon me, urging me to forgive anymore than I may someday ascend to God’s right hand.

You know of what I speak. And while it is my privilege, born of God, to show clemency, it is likewise my privilege to defer to God when that clemency cannot be found. Let him work his forgiveness; I am not in the present company of saints and angels. And however much I once yearned to be of their ilk, it is passable now to be deficient in my sometimes-righteousness.

Suffer me no talk of rights and laws, rules and regulations. I am bound not by codices and rote vows. Do not stumble backwards upon them for your defense, if you have the clever mind to conjure them. There is a greater law at task here: that Great and Fundamental Law which you know as well as I. It is the work and purpose of the Divine God. I tempt you to call upon your contracts before him and let justice do its work!

Do you not know that your words, your steps, your very breath affect the lives around you? And when damage is done to a soul once endeared to your good person, will an empty vow reverse the sorrow? Trust is not bound up in words, my friends, but in the heart. By the pain and suffering of our sin we are made sure of that, wherefore you have no ignorance to plead.

I am bound to show kindness, and the depths of my heart call for it. But it will not come forth by my own solicitation. If you have wronged me, as you have wronged God, admit to the wrong. If you have confessed, be authentic in your contrition. And if contrite, not even my present fury can withhold the good grace of God.

What is done, is done. I shall try not to bear it heavily upon my soul; neither should you. In time, and with God’s love alone, these wounds will heal.

But the acts will not be forgotten. See to your present life, then, and be diligent with God’s work.

I remain, forever your friend in Christ,


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