The Repentant Soul’s Story

Deborah Beach Giordano
© March 13, 2012

Hear my prayer and save my soul, precious God in heaven above.

I am
slipping,
sliding,
falling,
dropping;
my life
is
hanging
by a
t
h
r
e
a
d.

I am
fearful
of the yet-unknown,
terrified
of the endless dark,
ashamed
of what I’ve been.

Now,
even now,
I dream
of heroic deeds,
noble actions,
selfless giving …

Sadly,
fantasies
are all I have.
Yet sometimes
it almost seems
as if they truly
happened,

as if
I’ve always done
all that I should;
and been the kind
of person
I pretended to be.

But then I awaken
to reality
in this lonely
empty place,
where windows
are sealed
and doors
are locked;

imprisoned
with no hope
of reprieve;
condemned,
doomed,
awaiting
the executioner.

And I think
and think
and think
and think
until the thoughts
begin
to consume me;

for I know
how much I was given
how little I gave,
how much I took
for granted,
how minute
my gratitude.

Hear my prayer and save my soul, merciful God in heaven above.

Another chance, my Lord,
if only
You would give me
another chance;
if only
I could live my life
over
again,

if only
I could regain
my strength,
if only
I were free,
if only I knew
what I know now …

Oh how gloriously
different
I could be:
wise and good,
kind and loving,
compassionate
to the nth degree.

If only,
If only,
If only,
meaningless words;
a whispered
conversation
behind closed doors.

Lies,
all lies,
so blatantly false
and utterly hopeless
I can no longer
even convince
myself.

Late,
too late,
I am wise;
understanding
falls upon me
as heavily as
an
a
v
a
l
a
n
c
h
e.

Now I understand:
You
will not be mocked;
You are impervious
to empty promises,
and offended
by selfish conceits.

Hear my prayer and save my soul, merciful God in heaven above.

I tremble
at Your approach,
covered
with cold regret,
chilled to my bones
as I imagine
Your perfect justice;

For You judge
rightly,
knowing exactly
the condition
of our souls,
and the hardness
of our hearts.

You will destroy
what is worthless;
I will be silenced
for eternity
when I get
what I deserve.

Terror
robs me
of all thought,
steals my breath
and crushes
every hope
from within my heart.

Wildly I struggle
against
Your fair decree,
fighting the inevitable,
when I must perish,
and be no more
forever.

Hear my prayer and save my soul, merciful God in heaven above.

Now at last
the battle has ended;
my spirit broken,
my strength exhausted,
I can go no further;
I surrender to You completely.
You, O Lord, have won.

I shut my eyes
finally
upon the beauty
of a Creation
I have often ignored,
never to behold
its like again.

There is silence,
a sudden coldness
then a brightness,
a kind of glowing
surrounds me
and I’m lifted up
beyond the sky.

Radiant clouds
enfold me
and all pain and suffering
fades away;
there is no grieving,
no more jealousy, hate
or ugliness.

It is the place
I’d nearly forgotten,
where grace abides
with boundless joy;
here at last
I have found
a peace unknown on earth.

A glorious dance
goes on
all around me;
a welcoming party
for one
who was lost
but now is found.

I join in
with their rejoicing,
my strength restored,
my life renewed.
My heart grows
brave and hopeful …
then I hear Someone call.

It is the summons
I have avoided,
the final decree
of the Eternal Judge
whose image
I shaped
in my own form.

The music stops,
all heaven is silent, watching
as I step forward
with deep humility.
I admit it, I confess:
That sorry soul
is me.

Will this brief taste
of holiness
become a hellish torment?
Will paradise be lost
to me,
as I’m judged
on my own terms?

Thunder
echoes across the sky;
divine laughter
for all to hear:
O foolish soul,
how could you fear
the One who loves you so?

Here
there is no condemnation,
no cause for fear
or demand for revenge,
only mercy and compassion
from the Lord
of light
and life.

Now my journey
has ended
and begun anew,
in a glorious eternity.
Do not mourn
or weep for me,
for I am home at last.

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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