Shades of blacks and whites

Long black angry shadows

Hiding fears, mistrusts, and shame

And white as far as the eye can see.


I wear my despair in monotone.

No cure for my sickness.

No help to pull me out of lifelessness.

No desire to climb to freedom.

Prison stripes.

Prison bars.

Prison chains.

I am captive to myself.

I want to be free.

I want Someone to rescue me.

Unlock this bitter agony.

Set me free.

Silence is deafening.

I want to hear.

I demand to hear.

I know Someone is listening.

But no one answers.

Anger builds.

Rage swells.

A fist raised to the sky.

Gutteral anguish.

I want You to fix this.

I want to be loosed.

I demand an answer.

Ripping the stripes.

Pounding the bars.

Tugging at the chains.

It has to be easier than this.

How do I fix this?

A faint jingling

Could it be keys?

Could it be Someone is coming?

Could it be I will be set free?

He stops.

He looks.

He weeps.

He turns to walk away.

Wait, don’t leave.

Wait, you have the keys.

Wait, let me out.

His eyes bore into my soul.

Water and Fire,

Earth and Sky,

Birth and Death.

“My child, these keys are not yours.

You already have your key.”

As quickly as He came,

He left.

Though the words seemed a riddle

I remembered.

I knew the time.

I fell to my face.

I sobbed tears of regret.

I have lived my life for my own pleasures

And they have bound me.

I dressed myself in prison attire

And turned the lock myself.

I turned my back on His answers

Though He told me time and time again,



Turn around.

Walk toward freedom.

Long, dark hallway.

Filled with perils

Leering from every corner,

Descending from every high place.

Grabbing hold and hanging on.

No, go away!

I am a child of obedience!

I am a child of freedom!

You will not capture me again!

Inch by inch.

Step by step.

Choice by choice.

I am aware of a power

Urging me forward,

The Wind at my back

Moving me closer to release,

Closer to the light of day.


There are colors,

Reds and pinks,

Purples and blues,

Yellows and oranges,

The deep lush greens,

The brilliant hues of sunrise,

The dark browns of trees,

The grey blue color of my lover’s eyes,

The bright laughter of my daughter,

The slow smile of my son.

Feelings return

And I embrace them.

I no longer push them away

For the drabness of my cell

Is something I will never forget.

I know what put me there.

I know what will keep me out.

I never want to go back.

What I thought I wanted

Only bound me tighter.

What I said I wanted

Seemed too hard

To fight for.

I tried,

I tried to get free.

Beat my head against the wall

Screamed at the top of my lungs.

Tried short-term fixes.

In the end,

He knew I had the key.

I knew I had the key.

I just didn’t want to go through the pain

Of leaving the familiarity of my prison.

I had become comfortable there

In that place of death.

The light of day

Seemed so far out of reach.

I could never go there.

Only beautiful people live in color

And yet the Creator

Made me in color.

He created me for better things than prison,

But if I choose prison

He will allow me to stay there.

Choosing freedom

Is akin to choosing Him.

Though I did that long ago,

I didn’t know what it really meant

To deny myself.

To take up the thing

that is my biggest difficulty

And make it my greatest mission.

To follow and obey.

Now, I know.

Nothing tastes as good

As freedom feels.

Those sugary chains

Look delectable,

Taste like heaven,

But the hogtie like hell.

I’ve been to hell.

I never want to go back again.

I’ve tasted heaven.

I want to do whatever it takes

To stay close to the One who

Inhabits this glorious place.

This is the place Grace built

A place of safety, security,

Beauty, love,  power.

I live here now.