Saturday, August 14, 2010


There are some things I can never recover.  Foremost, the life of a schoolmate of mine, the friend of many,  a beloved daughter.  Also my innocence, my tender adolescent years, my free feeling college years.   Guilt took me pinch by pinch until I was left with no right to BE.  It wasn't until there was nothing left, 'cept life itself, that I even perceived this theft.

Guilt had done a number on me!  I welcomed him under many guises.  But when I had nothing left . . . and he still wanted more. . . that is when I knew.  I shut the door in his face, rested safely behind it and tried to catch my breath.  How could I have been so blind? (I do have a few ideas!) but you're not going to like them!  devotion, discipline, sacrificial love, the cause of Christ, a mother's  love, moral perfection, the desire to please.  Doesn't that make you mad?  Guilt wore many masks.  In fact, I think guilt and shame were hiding behind many thing in my life.  So when he asked for it all, the very last of me, I saw him for what he was:  an evil force of darkness and despair. I was left in a room of darkness. Then the LIGHT came on and I saw Guilt.   Just guilt . . . so I told him where to go!

There came a time,
    Guilt was at my door,
Demanding more,
    than I ever paid before,
My hands were empty,
   my soul bereft,
Store rooms barren,
   no crumb was left,
I stood my ground,
   made bold and said,
You'll take nothing more,
   until I 'm dead,
And when I die,
    I'll be at Christ's side,
You'll not be there,
   nor Grief, nor Shame,
So today I dare,
   to send you back from where you came.

I made this poem on a long walk.  A long walk that made so many things so clear that day.  It just came out, rhymes and all, as I tramped up the Hawaiian mmountainside behind my home.  And when I finished it, I realized for the first time: I'd been had!  I stamped my foot and said out loud "Damn you. . .  damn you to hell! I have a right to BE!!!"