A Convicted Christian

A somewhat well-known quote, attributed to Jimmy Carter, is “If you were charged today with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I was thinking about this the other week and wanted to put it into a poem.

A Convicted Christian

Brought in before a judge and jury,
Accused of faith in God.
The lawyers introduce the case,
And witnesses are called.

Friends and family, boss and more
Bear honest testimony,
And the jury deliberates
To decide if I am guilty.

Would witnesses all testify
That I spoke like a Christian?
Speaking with kindness, joy, and love,
And when others speak, I listen?

Or would people recall the epithets
And mean things that I’ve said?
Instead of Christlike language and care,
Did harsh words come out, instead?

And would the evidence show clearly
That I often read of Christ?
Would my scriptures, worn and well-marked,
Show who I turn to for advice?

Or would a dusty, unmarked book
Show how much those words matter?
No well-worn knees of pants to tell
To whom I turned in my disasters?

Could I testify, under an oath
Of times I lived by faith in God?
Of covenants kept under pressure
And faith maintained despite the odds?

Or would my life show a fair-weather Christian,
Believing when things go well,
And almost-lived moments of faith and trust,
When storms begin to swell?

Would the judge throw out the case,
For no evidence to convict me?
Would the jury reasonably doubt
That I was truly guilty?

Or would the evidence stand firm,
In a swift and clear conviction,
That I believe in God and live His word —
In short, that I’m a Christian.

Charity is

Charity is
Smiling as a child reads slowly,
Slower than you could yourself,
Charity suffereth long.

Charity is
Not snapping back when someone snaps at you,
Being patient when people have had a hard day,
Charity is kind.

Charity is
Being happy when someone does better than you,
Because you see how happy they are,
Charity envieth not.

Charity is
Shoveling driveways early, before anyone would see,
Letting the service be an anonymous surprise.
Charity vaunteth not itself.

Charity is
Admitting you are wrong,
When your pride wants to put up a fight.
Charity is not puffed up.

Charity is
Mowing a neighbor’s lawn when they can’t pay,
Serving then when that service can’t help you,
Charity seeketh not her own.

Charity is
Seeing the child of God inside the addict,
The saint inside the sinner,
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Charity is
Mary’s Son in the garden,
Bleeding and praying to do his Father’s will.
Charity beareth all things, believeth all things.

Charity is
The Man dying on the cross
Forgiving those who tortured and killed,
Charity beareth all things, hopeth all things.

Charity is
The Christ, living to bring you and I
Back home to live with Him.
Charity never faileth.

One Cup Short

I got to church a little late today, because of the snow, and so I was in the foyer for this wonderful experience.

One Cup Short

I stood in the foyer
As the priests came around,
Bearing trays of covenants
To the sheep within their flock.

The tray was one cup short
To bless all those in the foyer.
The priest left, and asked for another tray,
But those were empty, too.

So together, the priests went back,
A tray was filled, the water blessed,
Then back to the foyer the caring man went,
Leaving no lamb unfed.

The Ministering One
And His undershepherds,
Know that the cross was not carried
For all but one of us.