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#16-The Ministry of Despair

National Poetry Writing Month - 2013             

Day Sixteen -- April 16th



The Ministry of Despair

by Jeanie Killion


I remember how

I used to live

Before I knew Your grace.

I was always, and in all ways,

Working, working, working

To earn Your approval;

To earn Your favor;

To stave off Your anger;

Hoping You would commend me

For my efforts,

Even while I condemned myself.


Always lacking something;

That was me.

Soon as I thought, “I’m doing well!” --

I’d spy someone doing better

And feel the pressure to achieve

A better form of righteousness,

According to the "rules."


I was a sandcastle

Built on sand,

Seeking the approval of men

Who were, just like me,

Here today and
Gone tomorrow.

But, all my striving

never led to thriving.

Instead, it led to Despair.”


And, Despair became to me,

For that season in time,

Like a harsh friend --

One who kisses you

With the truth

you never knew you wanted.


She taught me that working

To accomplish a goodness of my own

Was empty, was futile.

It was Despair who tore from me

My last shred of desire

to create an empty goodness-illusion.


Ripping the religious spectacles from my face,

She forced me to see everything  

Through my Beloved’s eyes of grace.

She laughed at me for hoping to merit

Something defined as “unmerited.”


Tho', it was Despair, that hurtful friend,

Who brought me to the end

Of striving & forced me into REST,

I’m sure she meant me much harm.

But, one day, she finally left me alone, in your arms.

Here’s where I’ll stay, at rest in your care,

Oddly thankful for the visitor called, “Despair.”



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