Seventy-Seven Times


Peter asked you didn’t he?*

How many times must one forgive,

Turn the other cheek,

Give a second chance?


Peter wanted an absolute Lord,

This man you knew needed lines

He needed boundaries,

To know when he’d done enough.


Or had Peter been hurt Lord?

Had he in mind a scar,

A vulnerability exposed

Though hidden cleverly?


Do I seek what isn’t there Lord?

Want something to justify,

Some bottom to the well,

A point to cry “Enough”?


Does it ever go away Lord?

That quiet whisper of distrust,

A wispy breeze of what if,

Silence bruised with inquiries?


Will the memories ever fade Lord?

Faint enough they are unseen,

Landscaped around so attractively,

No eye any longer can see?


When will the time be Lord?

Hurt doesn’t slam over you,

Betrayal can’t suck you under,

You don’t drown another time?


How many times dear Lord?

Will I pray a prayer like this,

Strength to forgive the shattering,

Grace to be merciful as you are?


As many times as it takes Lord.

Until the trust is complete,

Patches are invisible,

Even if it takes me eternity.


Your Word makes it clear Lord.

We are to forgive as You forgive us,

How many times do I ask You

To forgive me a sin again?


Love will be enduring, right Lord?

It will stretch and bend,

It will not deliberately harm

Nor keep no record of wrong.


Quick to anger Peter Lord?

He and I have something in common,

Lines, boundaries, absolutes

Set aside for mercy as You do.

    d.f.a.v. 2-1-14



Matthew 18:21-35

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