“I WAS AFRAID. . .”
(Matthew 25: 14-30)
It could be me, standing there with the spade,
the crate of money beside me on the ground,
thoughts as bleak as the late-day twilight’s fade,
house lamps all lit but the darkness around
growing within, where fists clench my soul
and I know by the claws the cold-boned fear
that scrapes from my heart’s slender soil a hole
of its own, and leaves there, hidden but near,
shadows of despair. It’s fear of defeat
brings the shovel here, the fear of failure
that digs traps for faith on so many streets,
causes the loss of so much that is treasure.
Faith that fears loss and fails to try, can’t see
that such fear, not loss, is the enemy. And
this too I know: sometimes that has been me.
But maybe the story does not have to end
there – the one with dirt still on his fingers
standing alone in the darkness, the only
thing left to him regret, raw, lingering . . .
What if there’s One who pities the lonely,
the lost, the defeated; who, loving the failed,
the fallen ones, the ones who are broken,
allowed himself to know darkness; was nailed
to the cross; and who rose again, token
of a new day? In the shine of his light
we see all our sad failures overcome;
treasure – a buried soul – redeemed . . . and life,
once again, and not death, will have won.