A Call to Action
Ever read Street Sense? It’s a bi-weekly newspaper written by D.C. citizen journalists who are homeless. I usually buy my copy from a vendor in front of the Whole Foods on P Street.
One issue featured poetry written by young men who were members of the Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. Christian Lamar Taylor, “a go-go musician/poet with a great sense of humor” submitted this piece:
Forgiveness is hard but it happens.
At times you will need to forgive or be forgiven.
I have forgiven people
for the things they have done to me
because after a while
it just gets old.
Forgiveness means a lot.
Forgiveness can save lives when a person
does something wrong to another person
grab the Bible and ask for forgiveness.
He shall answer your prayer.
It might not happen right away
but it will happen
right out of the blue.
“…because after a while it just gets old.” Does it ever. Taylor has felt the heavy, sullen burden that comes from holding a grudge, adding fuel to the fire of anger, fooling yourself into thinking hatred sets you free. What’s the alternative? “[G]rab the Bible and ask for forgiveness.” Take decisive action, go for it! Something’s going to happen “right out of the blue” if we proceed with an open and contrite heart. Yes, yes.
Forgiveness as a call to action: that insight of Christian Taylor’s has stayed with me ever since I first encountered his poem. It took on an urgent quality when I went on to read that Christian Lamar Taylor had been shot at 9:45 p.m. on a Sunday on the 1200 block of 7th Street, NW. The Street Sense poet was now a Street Saint. I owe it to him to keep forgiving.
Appointed readings for today: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102: 15-22, John 8:21-30