How far must I reach, either into the recess of my soul, or into the outer bounds of my sins, before the light of a total forgiving God becomes bright enough to see. Perhaps I was blinded by the attractions that placed scales on my vision, blinding the senses to what the Lord has always been holding for me.
A man awaits the sentence encountered from failure to live according to society’s rule of “do not kill” and sees only the gallows, glaring its ugly head, calling to strike down this once good-living person. Now, the time of waiting is almost over. His pastor heard his confession, and he partook of the final requests that didn’t have much meaning as he viewed the shadows awaiting his last mile.
What thoughts must enter into a person, so entrenched in the mire of regret and “would I do over the evil that tempted me” as he thinks of days without God and the time he spent growing up in the Church and Sacraments learned and lived.
He remembered a poem that didn’t make sense, and now recites it’s realistic tenets: “As I was born into the world, I somehow sensed I was not wanted; The cold rejection of my parents’ arms, expressed the sorrow that surely would follow.
My years of youth were long and sad, to join with others my greatest wish; But while they laughed the whole day long, I watched alone with tear filled eyes.
From adolescence to adulthood I quickly grew, as life and its meaning passed me by; The pursuit of everyone filled with goals, made my existence become suddenly empty.
The years moved on with nothing for me, and finally realized there was no one who cared; My only security was found in a bottle, the friends I sought were empty dreams.
Somehow it happened, I don’t know how, I shot a man and laughed as he fell; But when they sentenced me to die, the years of my youth appeared once again.
As they strapped me in and pulled the switch, my only thought was no one cared. I reflected further about eternity, would I find here a friend who cares.”
This was a poem composed in 1977 and reflects in a rhetorical way what many who turn from God and His Love will certainly find unless they are led by those who care. There is nothing more powerful than the love we show and share for so many who are walking the road of perdition.
The Church is in “Ordinary Time” and thoughts of sin, forgiveness, and eternity may not be on the minds of many. However, sin always confronts us and forgiveness so freely and immediate from an all-loving God is never out of season. It does us all well to dwell on what each of us may encounter daily, and those that we love who are susceptible to failure from any number of afflictions, and need the Mercy and Forgiveness from God each moment of our lives. This fictional story could be someone we know or for some reading this it may be for you. Never give up and always hold on to hope. God knows our troubles and always forgives. Always!
Ralph B. Hathaway October 2018