Some thoughts on Healing and Reconciliation

We live in a broken world. Almost every day, we find ourselves hurt by someone else. Almost every day, we find ourselves hurting someone else – often without intending to do so, but we hurt others none-the-less. Most often, these are minor issues that are easily apologized for, and just as easily forgiven. But what happens when the injustice is much larger? What if an abuse has been systemic and long-term? Can healing take place?

I believe that harm is not only inflicted on the victim, but damage is done to the soul of the perpetrator of a crime as well…so can healing and reconciliation take place?

If you have harmed me, I cannot force you to apologize – and if you choose to never apologize, can I heal? Yes. Through forgiveness, I can heal, regardless of your lack of apology – regardless of you not even accepting my forgiveness

If I have harmed you, I cannot force you to forgive me. I can repent. I can apologize with full sincerity, but I can never coerce forgiveness from you. Through the act of repentance, and the act of forgiving myself for the crime I have committed, I believe that yes, I can be healed from the damage I have done to myself for what I have done against you.

One caveat to both of the above:  I cannot truly repent, nor can I truly forgive without the grace of God – it is only through God’s love that I can ever find the strength to forgive.  It is only through God’s love that I can ever find the courage to admit my faults.

Healing can be hard.  It’s hard to admit my faults.  It’s probably even harder to forgive you for your faults – but I think that reconciliation is harder yet.  Reconciliation is the restoration of relationship.  It is the laying aside of differences.  It is not merely mutual toleration, but mutual love.

I can apologize to you, but if you will not forgive, we are not reconciled

I can forgive you, but if you have no regret for pain that you have caused me, we are not reconciled

It is only when the perpetrator of an act is truly repentant and apologizes to his victim…and…when the victim of an act is truly willing to forgive that reconciliation can begin.

Parables of Earth – Part V


If rocks or thorns are left upon the ground
by those who have been hired to tend to
his field, the Farmer won’t keep them around
very long. Instead, He will look for new
farmhands who will care for the land. The crop
is, after all, the purpose of His field.
He will seek for workers who will not stop
striving to find ways to increase the yield
produced by the land. Labourers like these
are worth every penny that they are paid,
but woe to those who do not seek to please
the Farmer. They have cause to be afraid!

Without care taken to help the plants thrive
The crops that grow will struggle to survive.


Just a note about the image:  I decided to try my hand at drawing a thistle.  I’ve never been much of an artist, but had the desire to try anyways.  Watercolor pencils on paper.  I utilized the “watercolor” aspect of the pencils in the top of the thistle only.


I could not abide your inflammatory words
your writings that went against the status quo
and so I took your pages and painted over
all the objectionable verbs, nouns, adjectives

I redacted you down to “ifs”, “ands” and “buts”
to snuff out each spark of revolution
not knowing what you were trying to teach
and not caring to understand

So now I stand back
and watch a conflagration
of my own making

too late did I learn:
my Wite-Out® is flammable too



This whole piece was inspired by looking at a bottle of Bic® Wite-Out® correction fluid and seeing a label indicating “Danger: Flammable”

How long do we Remember?

Tomorrow (Nov.11), I will be attending a Remembrance Day service (along with thousands of others across this country and in many other countries around the globe. In Canada, the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae is one part of the service. Please click on the poem title to read the original poem!

The purpose of Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in some countries)is to do exactly what the name suggests: Remember. Remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives on fields of battle so that you and I could enjoy the freedoms that we have today. Countless lives were lost in far too many bloody conflicts…but I live a life of freedom today because those men and women died for future generations. So for one day, we set aside a few moments to remember what our freedom cost.

In 2014, I wrote a poem to encourage my readers to remember throughout the year (and not just on November 11). I used the same poetic structure as McCrae used, and echoed some of his words as well. I hope that be re-posting my poem, you might be inspired to remember not just on November 11, but throughout the year: that your freedom did not come for free…

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
Is heard on each Remembrance Day
And on that day, with heads bowed low
We think of those who fought the foe
“We will remember”, we all say

Yet in that pose, we do not stay
And soon we turn and walk away
To let forgotten poppies blow
In Flanders Fields

Those young men died, so that today
In freedom we can work and play
They paid a hefty price, and so
Let’s not forget the debt we owe
To those who will forever stay
In Flanders Fields

An open letter to a management company that I have the misfortune of having to deal with

To say your work is second rate
Would give more credit than you’re due
I won’t say that you’re dumb as rocks
‘Cuz rocks are brighter far than you

You claim that you can do your job
You even say you know your stuff
No evidence though have you shown
I have to say”enough’s enough!”

This latest stunt, though, takes the cake
You said to us you’d booked a trade
The plumber, though, had not been called
How long will you keep this charade?

You take the word “incompetence”
To levels never seen before
Each time I think I’ve seen your worst
You find a way to make worst more.

Parables of Earth – Part III

Soil quality will affect the yield
that a farmer can expect from his land.
for untamed land to be turned into field,
he will have to do much hard work by hand
such as clearing rocks and trees, or burning
brambles and weeds before he will ever
plant any seeds. The process of turning
land from rugged to fruitful is never
easy. Likewise hard work is needed to
make a wise adult out of a child.
Discipline and counsel are needed through
childhood or the youth may remain wild

To give his future crops the greatest worth
The Farmer knows He must prepare the earth.

Parables of Earth -Part II

Hard packed, sun -baked dirt is of little worth
and so The Farmer uses blade to break
the ground before seeding. This way the earth
is made more receptive. He’ll also take

fertilizer and spread it on his land.
This process adds nutrients that his crop
will need. Does the soil ever demand
that the tilling and fertilizing stop?

If you have faced trials or trouble in
life, you are blessed! For these can be the hoe
and fertilizer that help you begin
to be soil in which good crops will grow

The Farmer understands that on his field,
soil quality will affect the yield.


To read all parts of this sonnet cycle (as far as completed), hover over “The Elemenent – Sonnet Cycles” at the top of the page and select “Earth”.


Sharing this at dVerse for Open Link Night