A Prayer: Salt and Light

Many years ago while taking a writing workshop for my Master’s Degree, one of the students read a poem citing all the sins he felt God had committed against him,¬†and the biggest was an unanswered prayer for help. As I sat listening to his raw yet carefully measured words, it occurred to me this man’s rejection was based on what he had been taught about God not what he had learned for himself. This young man, so deft and eloquent in his abandonment of who he thought was God, had never found relationship with Jesus because he kept following the rules of the Church and never read for himself Who God truly is. My heart was broken, but as a new Christian, I didn’t know how to reach out to him.

As I drove home from class that night, I wept in my car for this young man and wailed to God to help this young man find Him. “Let someone cross his path that could show him Who You really are!” were the last words of that heartbroken prayer.

Before I went to sleep that night, the Spirit gave me this:


God Forbid

The more I understand
You, Lord,
The more I understand
I know very little.

God forbid
I stop knowing
Your power
and try to walk
this life
on my own;
I ever stop believing
all things work
together for good
for those who
know You,
and for everything
there is a season
and purpose
under heaven;
a mustard seed
of faith ever stops
being enough.

God forbid
You become
a religion to me,
something talked about
only to certain people,
and worshipped
only on Sunday;
I ever think of You
as a genie in a bottle
or put You in a box,
only to bring You
out when it is
convenient or desirable;
that I speak of You
as only a subject
of children’s stories
and songs,
equal in importance to
the Easter Bunny or Santa.

God forbid
I stop being
salt and light,
becoming hearer
and not doer;
I become hard pressed,
or struck down and
stop believing
my strength,
and future
are in You.

God forbid
I forget
who You are:
my King,
of everything.

God forbid
Jesus starts caring
how many times
I make a mistake,
slam the door,
or walk away.

God forbid.

God forbid.


I took this poem to writing workshop the next week. I have no idea how the young man received it. He wasn’t there. The class did have some good discussion about being the salt and light. Many of the students had never heard of such a thing and wondered where it was found in the Bible (Matthew 5:13-16).

If you are ready to give up on God, or maybe you already have, I implore you to give Jesus one more try. He is still there, waiting, no judgment, and with no list of corrections to be made before He will accept you. He loves you just as you are, and He wants you just the way you are.

Sometimes God isn’t Who we think He should be, Who we have been taught He is. To really know and understand Who God is, we must read the Bible, apply what it says, and pray. It really is as simple as that.