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Where a bitter soul bleeds silently within,

beneath flesh and sinew and bone…

unseen liquid laced with irritation, discontent,

compounded oversights and offenses, unforgotten—

the fluid poison leaks through,

seeping in tiny droplets at first…

later, becoming streams.

For a time the flow remains hidden, underground…

eventually exposed in gurgling,

bubbling to the surface,

and spilling over—

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finding escape by way of words,

unguarded, ungrateful,

with gestures and responses lacking in love…

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.  –  Matthew 15:18

Seeing the disfigurement in another,

she slips away…

yet soon discovers her own unsightly tendencies,

mirrored in the familiar countenance—

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disgusted by the revelation

her spirit cringes, cries out.

Falling to her knees this woman begs forgiveness,

confessing the absence of gratitude,

the void of contentment,

surrendering agitation at what God has wisely and justly allowed…

relinquishing her will to replace it with His.

Bitterness robs a woman’s heart of all that might be tender,

where delight and peace would fit securely in the feminine heart,

the place created for nurturing goodness…

instead, when corrupted by conceit,

each pulse spews silt and sludge,

polluting what is meant to refresh,

altering softness into stone.

And the enemy laughs…

pleased with his image reflected in her.

Those closest sigh, while she becomes one they hardly recognize.

When did the world turn so cruel? she wonders

as her heart pains within.

Never realizing

the form taking shape today becomes solid with time,

to be very soon etched upon her features,

hardness indelibly carved…

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Will she follow the way of bitterness,

the road paved with resentment?

Where lush forests and gardens languish behind,

leading her scorched soul through deserts, barren,

stretching endlessly, mile after mile, year after year,

while inside she grows angry, lonely, distantly estranged from life and love.

Or does she see, will she see another way,

the better way to complete the journey through her later years—

the way of worship, of constant praise,

of bowing before Him in thanksgiving for favor undeserved?

Praying_statue, Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY

I too struggle with the acceptance of life’s apparent injustices

and my ingrained demanding of retribution,

as the world around me spins on, with or without my approval.

Yet, Heaven’s tugging reminds me where grace is found…

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  –  Galatians 5:22

With so much ugliness in the world,

why would I want to contribute more of the same?

And as long as these eyes can see,

what will I find when looking in the mirror…

what do I desire others to see in me?

A form bitterly marred?

Or a life flowing with beauty,

that comes only through learning to trust?

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