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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: The Man With The Words
By Melanie Kerr


Your soft words like arrows have pierced my heart
They swarm in my head and tear me apart

I say to myself, “What does this man know?
What right does he have to challenge me so?”

We all saw the woman, we knew of her kind
To all the commandments and laws she was blind

Her body defiled by the men she seduced
“An immoral harlot!” at once we deduced

She stood by his side, wept tears of disgrace
We watched for a sign of disgust on his face

Her tears cascaded, poured over his feet
He sat and he watched and he didn’t retreat

She wiped up her tears with strands of her hair
Ignoring our outrage, as if we weren’t there

Her lips on his feet, the perfume she poured
The sweet scented fragrance could not be ignored

“If God really sent him, he’d know of her sin
He’d know of the men and the places she’d been.”

“He’d know that this sinner so close to his side
Could never draw close or in heaven reside.”

“I’ve something to say,” he spoke out my name
And listening I felt a stirring of shame

A story of two men who took out a loan
To both grace was given and mercy was shown

The first debt forgiven a vast, huge amount
The second so small, a few coins to count

“Which man would love him? The one who’d owed more
In gratitude he would bow down and adore.”

So gently he chided for all I’d not done
Of courtesy, manners, respect – I’d shown none

The woman I judged had met every need
While I had looked on and scorned every deed

He spoke to the woman, “Child, I forgive.”
She left the room joyful, a new life to live

I’m left with a feeling that somehow I failed
My spirit transfixed, on his words impaled

I’ve spent too much time, with people like me
Blinded by pride and unable to see

My heart is so callous, so cold, so like stone
Just like the people and friends that I’ve known

Perhaps there’s another encounter for me
With Jesus, the man with the words that set free

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This article has been read 1493 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/10/08
Lovely - and extremely thought-provoking and insightful. Wonderful.
Patty Wysong02/10/08
Beautiful and powerful wrapped in one! I loved the last four stanzas, convicting yet giving hope, too.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/11/08
Excellent message, and a different take of the topic than most. I like this a lot.
Shelley Ledfors 02/12/08
Lovely! A great take on this topic.
Karen Wilber 02/12/08
"I’ve spent too much time, with people like me" - speaks volumes. I can see why this was a jewel. Marvelous.
Jan Ackerson 02/13/08
You're definitely one of our best poets--I love this!
Leigh MacKelvey02/13/08
End rhymes were nice and rhythm flowed. Funny, but I've come across the story of the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume several times this week, all depictng her as a prostitute. I was always taught that she was Mary, sister of Martha. I wonder which is true? Lovely poem.
Debbie Wistrom02/13/08
Not a poetry fan, but this was wonderful. Such creative talent here. This should be published!!
Maxx .02/13/08
wonderfully smooth, as always. Very well done.