• W. Austin Gardner

Let's Both Forgive!

Someone very dear to me who had been my friend for years launched a brief but fierce attack my way. I could not believe he did it. When I realized he did, I could not believe he meant to do me harm. Through tears I wrote these words:

Let's Both Forgive!

You did not mean to loose the bow That launched the arrow toward my breast; Nor did you plan to shake the limb That so disturbed my downy nest.

'Twas not your will to hurl the stones That hailed upon me like a storm; 'Twas not your quill that penned the darts That railed upon my inner form.

You did not make the venom that Your tongue so quickly shot my way; Nor did you mean to loosen all The fiery snakes I fled today.

You did not weigh the giant stone Hewn by the words you spoke to me. 'Twould not be there had you but known The load with which I came to thee.

I know, for I have hurled some stones, I vainly tried to have returned. My quiver's empty far too oft; My fiery darts too much have burned.

I own some venom and a bow Which oft unite in deadly flight To far exceed in damage done The arrow's wound and serpent's bite.

I know the empty victor's guilt When kneeling o'er my fallen prey. I've held the sword when blood was spilt, While joys of winning fled away.

So may I love you when you hate, And may I bless you when you curse. I cannot now retaliate, For yesterday 'twas in reverse.

May I return an answer soft To turn away thy hasty wrath; For I have tasted far too oft The bitter herb my friend now hath.

Jack Hyles, How to Treat Different Types of Church Members

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