Warning: this poem–if you can call it that–kinda blindsided me. It’s not what I intended to write today. And yet, it’s what came out. Read gently.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it (Matthew 5:14).
When will I let go?
I am a child gripping candy in his fist.
I won’t let go, even though the candy is old
and no good for me.
I scream and wail and weep because you ask me to give you
that which only rots my teeth
and, frankly, tastes awful.
It’s been on the ground, but I’ve scooped it up.
I rubbed it on my shirt, but still it’s covered
and nasty bits.
I can’t possibly enjoy it, but I will
no matter how you ask.
Why must you ask?
Why must you be so gentle?
Tear it from my hand, Lord—I know you could.
Ignore the shrieks of protest.
Ignore the tantrum.
Just do it.
Because if you wait for me to give it up, I fear I never will.
Because if I…
if I give it up, what if there is nothing else?
What if, in spite of your promises, this sticky
mess is all there is or ever will be
What if, once lost, I am never found?
Oh God, you curse me with a freedom that is more than I can bear.
Quickly now, before I can think about it
like a splinter
or a bandaid.
I hold my breath
and grit my teeth
and close my eyes…