I could still taste the stench in my mouth
when I uttered “forgive me”.
“The truth shall set you free”
(we were so precisely taught) echoed in my head.
Nothing or no one but the Creator could help me escape the black gloved hand that will devour any open flesh.
I heard the Just Judge thunder, “No more than 40 stripes”.
The judgment was set.
The painful reality of the hot leather strap cutting my face,
cleansed my mouth.
The wrath of the strap caused my flesh to split open.
Every secret sin and transgression oozed out of me
like a stream of lava.
It’s funny how pain escapes you in traumatic situations.
The only pain I felt was deep within my soul.
Falling to the cool dirt, my sentence was served.
No one ever said forgiveness doesn’t come with punishment
Within an inch of my life, I finally learn
the sweetness of true forgiveness.
The one who gave the punishment, sparing my life
helped me from the ground.
The sky is so radiantly blue, so clear.