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that i might know you, Lord

by Carl Walker

Lord, i want to know you


But I have a problem

I want to know my own life too


When someone speaks harshly to me

I revert to early lessons of my childhood

And (even if repressed)

I want to Demand my rights

I want to fight back

I want to respond in kind

Usually with a little justified increase

Just a little harsher

Just a little louder

Just a little stronger

But this is not knowing you


When someone speaks harshly to me

Knowing you is turning loose of my own life


Knowing you is not starting

from a vantage point of My own rights

or a vantage point of demanding

treatment deserving of one of the stature

I imagine and wish to be mine


Knowing you is starting from a vantage point

Of having and continuing to receive

Unmerited favor and undeserved grace

Which i don’t, can’t, will never deserve

But none the less have it in copious quantities


Here’s the hard part

Knowing You, Lord, is extending that grace

To others who don’t deserve it either


This is an elusive, unreachable goal

That of forgiving seventy times seven in a day

Unreachable in terms of man

Reachable in terms of God in man


When a person forgives

It is the wind of God moving

When we forgive

The undeserving

The unworthy

The unrepentant

The unreformed

The unreconciled

Those who hurt us and will continue

Without abatement to hurt us


Here’s a cravat

Forgiveness is not the absence of hate

Forgiveness is not neutral

When God forgives me it obliterates

Any barrier in the heart of God to loving me

Just as I am, even if I never change


The pinnacle of forgiveness is love


Love doesn’t always give what is wanted

Often it does

It almost always seeks to

But often love gives discipline too

Without discipline there is no maturing

With out maturing there is no flowering of gifts

Into the realization of personhood


I desire to know you God

Please form in me a faith that can have perfect peace

Being spoken to harshly

Where no harsh word produces a heart condition

Other than love and a covering of the other’s sin


That heart condition pleases you (Hebrews 13:16)

And creates the conditions for me

To grow in the knowing of you (John 14:21)

To become mature

And experience the flowering of gifts

Into the realization of personhood

In tandem with the flowering

of the nature of the real God in me


so that means I must release and relinquish

my right to all good treatment

and receive bad treatment with joy


that i might know You, Lord


Author's Note: reliquishing my right to all good treatment frees me to love those who give me bad treatment, loving those who give me bad treatment releases the Holy Spirit to set them free from what binds them.

who would you see set free, love them first, then pray. If you can't love them, pray for yourself first and grow into the power of God in you that produces the faith of Luke 17:6.

look out mulbery trees

Posted on 11/28/2003
Copyright © 2021 Carl Walker

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 11/29/03 at 03:00 AM

A message, always timely, always needed, but not readily accepted I think. Surely, I am going through a time that I trust God does that work of love and grace in me toward Richard. He and I are both so needy (though perhaps in different ways). I relate to this poem totally!

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