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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)

TITLE: God's Scary Mathematics
By Melanie Kerr
11/06/04

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Here's a sum…
Forty two, times ten, plus one, divided by two, equals…?

Forty two youths
Forty two sons
Forty two potential husbands
Forty two potential fathers
Forty two lives cut short
Forty two dead bodies
Forty two funerals
Forty two graves

Forty two times ten...

Ten words (according to the New International Version)
Ten words shouted
Ten spiteful words
Ten mocking words passed back and forth
Ten words to injure and insult
Ten lethal words
Ten words spoken that carried a death sentence
Ten last words

Forty two, times ten, plus one....

One traveller
One man of God
One prophet
One confrontation
One look that pierced the heart
One chance for conviction, for repentance
One curse called down
One answer instant and powerful

Forty two, times ten, plus one, divided by two...

Two bears
Two angry bears
Two bears from out of the woods
Two bears robbed of their cubs
Two bears mauling
Two bears slashing
Two bears with bloody claws
Two bears with vicious jaws

Forty two, times ten, plus one, divided by two, equals…judgement?

Where is the "sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me"?
Where is the "turn the other cheek"?
Where is the "soft answer that turns away wrath"?
Where is the "slow to anger" and the "rich in mercy"?
Where is the Father's love?

One look was enough to see
Forty two sons
Like the forty two fathers
And grandfathers before
Passing on and teaching
Ten spiteful words
To injure and insult
To the next generation
Forty two sons
Like forty two fathers
And grandfathers before
Passing on and nourishing
Hardened hearts
Closed ears
Mocking lips
Bunched fists
Potential fathers
To the next godless gneration

Like a circle broken
It ends now


Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 11/08/04
The poem is based on a story in 2 Kings 2 v 23-25.
DeAnna Brooks11/08/04
Point taken! Thanks for your unique way of reminding our hearts that each action bears fruit...forty times ten.
Corinne Smelker 11/08/04
Melanie - this was incredible - in my opinion the best here. Your poetry sang to me, and then pierced my heart. Thank you for writing this very creative piece
Deborah Anderson11/09/04
Nice slant with a powerful message. Good job. God bless you.
Karen O'Leary11/09/04
Creative with a good message. Good job!
Lucian Thompson11/09/04
Melanie, I don’t think I have ever read a poem so intriguing. You really put it together here. Very good!
Verlie Ruhl11/10/04
Melanie, this was a very compelling and well-composed poem, which provoked thoughts about a group of young men I had never given much thought to before. Thanks for the insights.
Phyllis Inniss 11/11/04
Very creative. At first I wasn't sure what was being said, then it all came home. God's blessings, Melanie.
Linda Germain 11/11/04
Melanie, absolute perfection! This is an A ++ as far as this reader is concerned! Wow. Can't think of another superlative... Blessings my dear. ~LG~
Debbie OConnor11/13/04
Very good and very interesting. The exciting thing is that, 42 times 10 people passing down truth and blessing in the power of God are stronger than the other 42 times 10 could ever hope to be. It ends now! Agreed!