There are those who live their lives
on the lonely edge of long shadows,
fearing the night
and longing for the flight of doves
to lift them above the aching touch
of empty voices
and bitter choices made
in the biting light of reality.
There are those who choose the use of others,
who long ago learned
that they could turn the fear
of their leaving into a burning threat
that would keep things
as they desired,
the smoke of a smoldering fire
in the corner of a frozen room.
There came one who called them out
from fear and darkness,
from fire and frost,
from threat and loss.
Who offered peace in the midst of pain,
a hope bright as heaven
without the leavening of guilt,
and a leaving of shame.
I have sometimes walked in darkness,
have felt the coldness of consequence,
and found that even in grace
I have had to face the lingering sting
of things traced to past choices.
And I have also found
there is a balm in the voice of Gilead,
a soothing of scars
a healing of hope
that leads to love.