the outstanding debt

from by grafted, i am.

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I was part of an effort to reinforce my reputation as a man. I was part of a war for my own crown and my own staff. So when I walked I kept my fists clenched and my eyes set straight ahead to cut you in half. You ever hear what happened to the boy who pulled on a Doberman's tail? Well, he can only smile with his upper lip and the dog's in jail awaiting bail. Little did I know that my words were born and raised on the philosophy of ferocity. A killer bee in a bouncy house posed less of a threat to peace. "The poison of vipers was on my lips. My mouth was full of cursing and bitterness. With feet so swift to shed blood" 1 I could never sit still or stay dry. I had my sights fixed on foreheads for stamps I picked to accuse using words like wicked rotten, sewer-begotten, filthy, stupid. (I thought I was entitled to shake a finger with some rhythm, to call them out. I condemned myself.) I faced the crowd with opposition. I was ambitious to raise my fist and strike with confrontation, and shock with contradiction as I did the same. "When pride comes, then comes disgrace" 2 like throwing a boomerang, then closing your eyes, and standing in place- It's never pretty. "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? Well there's more hope for a fool than for him" 3 this is true, but I was both of these beyond what I'm gonna tell you, and the hope God has poured out on me in His mercy is enough to carry me through the grave. "We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, carry us away" 4 but we've been bought back. We all got more in common than we don't. We all got more to live for than we could ever know right now but we can know in part and in part lives our hope. God caused me to see that all the while it was me there standing in the alleyway, sharpening my knife, and licking my chops in the cover of a dumpster. I dug a pit and fell into it just like the ones I cursed I couldn't save my own self, but even while I was digging Jesus had a rope ready. "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us." 5 Our greatest delusion is believing we're always honest with ourselves. If it feels like you are dying well then I would say that now you're onto something. There's a reason. There's an answer. Reach out. Touch the walls. Notice how there's no escape at all? To realize is to bring into concrete existence something that has existed as a possibility. A possibility checked positive for reality. This is a pit. It won't spit you out. Wickedness will not release those who practice it. 6 Romans 13:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." 1 Romans 3:13-15 2 Proverbs 11:2 3 Proverbs 26:12 4 Isaiah 64:6 5 Romans 5:7, 8 6 Ecclesiastes 8:8


from grafted, i am., released February 2, 2015



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grafted, i am. Oneonta, New York

four friends, one hope.

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