The Casing Finally Broken


It began with a burned finger
Mother had warned
About the stove-top
I was about three
And could not be told
Had to discover the truth
For myself
Stunning and humiliating.
And self-defense
Became a priority.
Later school yard kids
Strange men at shopping malls
Homework incomplete
But without honest excuse
The dating scenes
Demands of the job
Half-truths told
And left unconfessed
On many fronts.
That indispensable shell
Was hardening
Against pain, embarassment
Duty or discovery
I called it self-preservation
The way things had to be.
But my world was shrinking
And darkening
Less satisfaction with every week
So many things
Buttoned-down in me
Seemingly under wraps
But unseemly.
Occasionally there shone some light
Some inkling of a better way
Beyond me
An image or a stanza of a song
Or even a Gospel word
Or smile on some arresting face.
But the shell, the casement
Was hard and persistent.
I heard later that there
Had been prayer
A few friends already broken free
Aware of my struggle
And directed by the Heavenlies
To speak revolution, fresh air
And jail-break
Into my little drama
They called it “repentance”
And I was free
By the power of Christ
And brilliantly dependent.
(2 Timothy 2: 25)


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