I make no claim to natural ease with
Those connections that others find innate.
This human grace was never granted to me.
I feel myself detached from my fellow man.
And you, you give love so readily,
At the first glance, with many and most takers.
But you supplement that which is natural
With that which seems right in your own eyes.
In thus doing, you have run afoul
Of an edict you have never recognized,
A Law for which you were not afforded the veto.
Yet here, in the court, you find yourself accused.
And though I be not the judge,
I act the hung jury, trying to make sense
Of a Law I do not understand myself–
One sinner hesitant to condemn another.
What could I say to the defendant who asks me
The meaning of the terms by which she is being tried
When I’ve never defined them for my own life?
Are we judged by alternating standards?
I know the tension between assuring her
Of love and of requirements made upon her–
Requirements eternal and real and full
Of truth and love and grace, at first unseen.
How can one be required to give up
Everything that looks right and good
To receive what only looks to be
Empty promises from an unsure guarantor?
Could we trade places, you and I?
Let me be the one required
To forsake all I want and love
For all I reject and need.
Let it be you to whom true love comes easy.
My friend, my friend…
What I would not give for you to know this grace.
What I would not give to take your place.