Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
- TITLE: The Thing I Lovingly Hate
By Lynda Schultz
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The crushing weight,
no, the weight upon weight
bearing down relentlessly
until the very breath I breathe
feels like lead in my lungs.
It has been my constant companion
from early childhood,
from those first conscious moments
when a parent said “No.”
I pushed, and it held firm,
refusing to do my bidding.
I think we could be friends,
but the rules of its game
are not always mine.
As it was in my childhood
it remains inflexible, I give,
Friends hold things in common
However, this friendship is odd, unnatural.
I want to stay close, but
strangely, defying logic,
the closer our relationship
the farther away I want to get.
What I want to do to please it,
I can’t seem to manage.
And it chides me.
What I do that displeases it
adds yet another weight upon me.
I feel its condemnation.
That’s when I want to hate it, I honestly do.
It covers me, smothers me in reproach,
pinches, prompts, and prods.
Sometimes it whispers, sometimes screams,
always laying heavily,
adding weight upon weight.
I cannot run, I cannot hide, and I cannot escape.
The farther I think I am, the closer its presence.
It refuses to move from my mind;
a strong hand throwing painful stones
that pierce my heart and pound my head.
They will kill me yet.
I sometimes have wondered why a loving God
would burden me with such a load.
This weight comes from Him,
reflects His will, defines His way.
But it seems an awful charge
to inflict on such as I.
Some call it an evil thing, a stress
causing more harm than good.
Let it go, banish it, dispose of it, destroy it,
and let we mortals live in peace.
The weight of this “friendship”
crushes the spirit, and dampens the joy.
Then He calls me to look inside myself to find
the rock that outweighs the pebble.
I blame what He imposes
for the weight I feel.
I rebuke the knife
for the toughness of the meat.
The heaviness that steals my breath
is that very thing
that from the beginning of my life
has always resisted the embrace
of loving discipline.
The greater weight is mine, not His.
Mine is the evil, His is the good.
He bears the weight of His,
while I am crushed beneath my own.
The fault is not in the discipline
but in that one who needs it—
such a one as I.
But would I not be better off, I ask,
if I did not know His smaller weight,
which burdens me with knowledge
that in its absence would
leave me ignorant of my own
much heavier load?
Not so, for not understanding my nature
would leave me exposed
which I would be helpless to avoid.
Ignorance is no bliss.
Ignorance is a broad road to hell.
So though I sometimes hate it, I really do,
I bear its weight with greater ease.
I accept its rebukes and nudges.
Without its pressure, I would not know myself
as I really am, a sinner without hope;
and I would not know that there is a way of escape.
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