Forgiveness

A Poem

466

Forgiveness is the last and, perhaps,

the greatest gift given by Jesus.

To the very men who tortured and

crucified him on the cross.

And, incidentally, to all of the rest of us

who stood by and watched him die.

How many of we men have failed

this last great act of compassion?

Who among us has heeded this final lesson

which should have joined us all as one,

That could yet bring us all the security that

would attend the unity of mankind?

Of the three great mandates for humanity,

Love, Mercy and Forgiveness,

Forgiveness, seems to be the hardest,

most elusive for us to exchange.

Love is usually exchanged and mercy usually

costs us nothing but some security,

But forgiveness requires that we give up some

personal dignity as something owed us

And we are forever primed to demand equal

restitution in return for forgiving.

Forgiveness, we see as a thing to be bartered,

far too personal to be given free of charge.

That might be why Jesus saved forgiveness

for his last lesson to man from the cross:

Father, forgive them for they know not

what they do.

What a magnanimous gesture, yet

so difficult for us to emulate.

A Hill resident, the author believes that the appreciation of art should not be influenced by the vagaries or prejudices of biography.