One of the most challenging parts of doing ministry where I am, in an area where there are few social services reaching out to the poor, is that we happen to be one of the only churches who offer emergency assistance for the homeless and the needy. And part of the difficulty is in learning to continue loving even when the occasional person goes out of their way to take advantage of your generosity. Here's a poem/prayer I wrote after a particularly difficult interaction.
How to Be Twice Struck, and Still to Love
Lord, I have need of Thy compassion,
A heart to serve the poor.
But they, like all of us,
Are deceitful and unjust,
And my callused heart can't see beyond
Their bare mendacity of soul.
Let me see, as You do,
That vice like this is cause
For compassion, not offence,
The symptom of a brokenness
That calls for pity unchagrined.
Teach me, Lord,
How to be twice struck,
And still to love.
* Note to My Readers: Due to the busyness of the next month and a half, I'm making a few minor changes to my schedule of posting. All posts will continue to be made daily and will consist of material that has not appeared before on this blog. However, because my time will be taken up by my final thesis defense for my Master of Church History degree and by a trip to the Holy Land, several of my ongoing series will be on hold until May.
- On Wednesdays, I'll be posting some of my original poems from my college years, and then in May my "Evangeliad" poems will resume.
- On Thursdays, my series on "How to Be Miserable in Your Christian Life" will wrap up by the end of March. That will conclude that series for now; however, if you enjoyed it, please let me know, because I may add more to it at some later point.
- And on Fridays, my "Glimpses of Grace" series will be on hiatus until May. In the meantime, it will be replaced with a serialized, unpublished novella that I wrote back in 2005, "Worth It All." Beginning in the first week of May, "Glimpses of Grace" will return, this time in the Thursday slot, and a newly-composed adventure novel will be posted on Fridays.