The Paradox of You and I: A Poem of Apology
I wrote this poem several years ago and came across it just now as I was searching for something else. As I read it, I was in awe. It's not that I was impressed with my words--but I was shocked to see how much I have changed from then to now! I was in a place of such struggle when I wrote the poem. My head knew one thing but my heart believed another. I strove to do what was right but my motives were often not pure. I was fearful and felt alone. Today, I feel like a very different person--God has done so much healing work inside of me! It's not that I live perfectly, but I can see that I've been "aligned" as my head and heart now fit together and act as one. I no longer feel hopeless and stuck in sin and sadness, but more and more as time goes on, I experience the freedom of Jesus Christ! I used to be stuck on the part of the verse that says, "In my weakness..." but now I realize there is more and I live in the "...His strength is made perfect" reality.
I wanted to share this poem as an attempt at encouraging others. If you feel at all like I felt when I wrote it, there is hope! I let myself be real about how "messy" my heart was and I brought if all before God. It was a process and I did a lot of seeking to find God and to learn His truths and apply His wisdom to my life. I didn't just wake up one day different--in fact--I didn't even realize how much I had changed because the process was little by little by little. But I can look back now and see that all of those baby steps added up and I now feel worlds away from where I was then. May you be blessed to experience the complete freedom that God offers!
Shadows and Light
A Realization About Myself and an Apology
We’re the same—you and I.
We are the same, yet different; coexisting in the same space.
You smile on the outside yet on the inside you want to cry.
I try to hold it all together—to keep a straight face.
I act like I believe that it will all be OK but on the inside I don’t want to try.
I am afraid—I feel alone in a dark and scary, ever-shifting place.
I lay on my couch and I tremble and shake and a part of me wants to just crumble and die.
Same journey—different points in the road.
I think that I am running on ahead but turn the corner and find myself in an all too familiar place.
I am no better than you—I have as much darkness, the truth be told.
On the outside my arrogance and boldness and zeal hide my inner disgrace.
All that is good in me comes from the Almighty God—The Yahweh of Old.
Every kind act I’ve done—every deed of love and pure thought is a product of His grace.
And I, too, struggle with good and evil and it is myself, not you, that I should scold.
You say that if I knew who you really were I would not be able to handle that realization.
The truth is I don’t even know who I really am, deep down inside.
For I am also the host of a cosmic struggle between evil and good and in utter fascination,
I too many times have, to myself, simply lied.
I’m not as good as others around me think.
I’m not as strong as I appear.
I seem, perhaps stable, but I feel as if I am step by step going to sink.
I speak of hope and faith and trust but in the end am so wrapped up in fear.
It’s not that I don’t believe what I say—for my head knows it to be true.
But in my heart of hearts—deep down into a realm that I am barely even aware,
I try so hard to line up what I think and I say and I do.
But there is a part of me that I can’t dare to share.
This struggle seems too strong—like it will rip me apart.
Like I’m being pulled into the light and sucked into the darkness all at the same time.
Season after season my life has been shattered and broken has been my heart.
The truth is that I try so hard to help you but on the inside of me I’m anything but fine.
I just want to say that I’m so sorry for pointing my finger and trying to fix what’s broken in you.
Like a sick and dying child I am trying to give you the cure but I must give it to myself, first.
However broken and stuck in sin you are, the truth is that I’m broken and stuck in sin too.
They may not look the same on the outside, but our hearts both chase idols to quench that Godly thirst.
The duplicity in you is the duplicity in me.
The bondage that entangles you is the same that I need, also, to be freed.
The hope for you is the same hope for me—it is Christ alone that can save us.
We are desperate for God to help us—He alone is the sturdy rock that we can trust.
Your idols—my idols—different shapes and colors but in the end they cannot save—they will rust.
I am sorry for ever making you feel as if I am in anyway better than you.
I’m sorry if any of my comments towards you have been rude.
I truly, truly have loved you with the love of an amazing kind—one that comes from on high
But at the same time I realize that I need to let that same love heal me deep inside.
The songs goes, “I once was lost but now I’m found.”
For me to learn this, God has had to turn my world upside down.
I feel like everything around me and inside of me is swirling round and round.
I don’t know if my feet are in the air or on the ground.
Forgive me for my sins—for each time I’ve done anything other than love you with the love of the Lord.
Like Peter in the garden, I am so quick to pull out that sword.
“I once was dead but now I live,” is another line in the song.
But to live I must first die and that means to admit where I’ve been wrong.
Once again, by using you, the Lord has humbled me—my spirit lies in the dirt and weeps.
I know that in His time, the Lord will raise me up by His strength and I will shout for joy, running through the streets.
But right now I lay on the ground and cry and besides these letters on this page I wish to make no sound.
For I thought you were lost and needed to be found—but found that I too, need to be found.