Last updated on June 18, 2014
A poem that encapsulates the Samuel Elijah Johnson series. You can see a video version here. Enjoy! The audio version is below.
Stained glass, iron bars. Wooden pews and metal cots.
Hymnals with cardboard covers and leather clad Gideon Bibles.
Words freed from both, one with sweet voices, one with shouts of fury and admonition.
Other books abound, filled with laws many claim come from only ten.
How is that possible?
Innocent until proven guilty?
Not in front of a judge.
Nor in front of a congregation filled with frowning souls
who, without sin, proceed to cast the first stone. And the second. And the third.
Is it possible to find redemption in either place?
A courtroom or a church?
Money. Power. Fame. Recognition.
All bring with them their own burden.
The clothes make the man, appearances both important and deceiving.
But if all are guilty, the Truth an elusive fallacy,
what is the point?
Are not the things pursued by others, those that promise to free,
yet that somehow enslave, of equal value? If the world is offered at the price of a small bow,
a mere acknowledgement of another’s power,
is that too great a price? What gain is the world, if one’s soul
Oh, the temptation!
My fist opens. Stones drop from my fingers to the dusty ground.
I am not without sin.
The ones I trusted? The truth I found? It too was tainted.
How can we know? How can we be so sure
we are right, the rest of the world so wrong?
With so many without doubt, the same consumes me. Truth stands in
the shadows, mocking the lie of my life.
My arm was cocked back, my wrist ready to snap forward, throw
with incredible force the nugget of Truth I thought to be mine.
Aimed true, it would strike. Cause damage, raise to
my lips a smug smile.
Proof that I was right.
I was wrong.
I offer this to you now, my confession.
I am guilty.