Forgive and be Forgiven

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Scripture: Matthew 6:12

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Take it Further: It Isn’t Fair by Dara Weaver

I’d love to let folks walk in my woods,
if all they did was soak in the saturated oxygen,
and kids built forts and stone dams,
but that’s not how it goes, most times.
Trespassers leave their trash behind.

It isn’t fair!
It isn’t fair how garbage
lines my creek bed and on the northside,
the fence got cut.
It’s my land. I’m stewarding it as best I can—
do they not think of me?
Do they think no one has to pick up
the dirty shards of debris
they leave for me to find?

Clean-up is hard.
My fingers bleed
when caught on broken bottle glass.

It isn’t fair!
I didn’t hurt myself, but I must heal myself.
I didn’t make this mess,
but my space is my space,
and I can clean it up.

My bandaged fingers tear
a piece from the communion bread,
dip it in purple wine.
I hold it over my other cupped hand
in case it drips (it never does).
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against us,”
the pastor intones.

My eyes swim.
It isn’t fair!
My garbage,
it weighed You down,
it sliced Your forehead,
already smeared with sweat and blood.
I did this.
I trespassed and left my trash behind.
You died.

You died to show me that forgiveness
is a little death,
a burial,
a seed that sprouts, and grows—
a resurrection.


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*Note: If you wish, you can look up this and other Bible passages online at
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