This poem tries to explore the complexity of sin.
What’s the most hurt I have ever caused someone?
What’s the worst deed or omission I’ve ever done?
Not an easy question to face, and what’s more,
Not an easy question to find true answers for.
Has a brother been crippled because of me?
Perhaps a heart stricken and sunk in misery?
In choosing one path, have I shut others out?
Behaving as some kind of emotional lout?
What’s the worst hurt I have ever done someone?
Perhaps that should be ‘doing’ as opposed to ‘done’?
Maybe the damage is ‘now’ rather than ‘then’?
Though granted, bad memories tend to lengthen.
Perhaps worse than discrete hurts inflicted,
It’s my attitude that has me convicted?
A cruel act is one thing, but far worse still,
A selfish stance spreads a pernicious chill.
And then again, if self-serving has been my goal,
Maybe the real damage is to my own soul?
Maybe the true harvest of my grasping ways,
Is a bleak lovelessness for all my days?
Is there any way we can ever measure?
Do we ever have any sense whatsoever?
Of the impact of our sojourn in this life?
Our potential for planting peace or sowing strife?
I’d like to think I’m a good person really;
And don’t rob, slander, or kill serially.
I abide by the law and pay my taxes;
I hope my motives underpin my praxis.
Yet does my supposed goodness only hide,
The awful truth lurking beneath my pride?
Blest the public sinners who’re daily faced,
With the views we good folk have misplaced.
Father God, you know me through and through;
Nothing of me is ever hidden from your view.
Do I ever see the person that you see?
Condemning, reprieving, inappropriately?
We can never really face the darkness within,
Let alone get true measure of our own sin;
Without first opening to your salvific light;
That pure beam which illumines our self-crafted night.