Fruits of repentance

          The crooked will be made straight,
                    and rough places made smooth....
          Bear fruits worthy of repentance.
          One is coming with a winnowing fork in hand,
                    to clear the threshing floor
                    and to gather the wheat in the granary;
          and to burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.

                        —Luke 3.5, 8, 17

Don't be afraid. John isn't threatening you.
He's setting you free,
relieving you of the crap that messes you up.

What are the rough places in you
that need to be made smooth,
the crooked places that need straightening out?
Surrender them to God.

What are the lies that clutter up your head,
the fears that infect your heart?
Let them be winnowed out and burned.

And what are the gifts you don't share,
the second coat you don't give away,
the despair you try to sell, overpriced?
Let God gently take them from your hands.

Christ comes with the music of love in his heart.
Let go of that suit of armor, attached as you are to it.
You can be free now. Throw it off, and dance.

   —December 13, 2018