Poem

Despising the Shame

Michael Beck Michael Beck

What another would say, does it matter that much?
We all pretend not, but continue to clutch
To an image we like, hoping others will too
Counting as friends those who give us our due
Going through life with an enemies’ list
Depending on whether we’re honored or dissed.

Is this the same way that our Master has walked?
Did He treat them as foes who of Him evil talked?
Though they spit in His face and laid stripes on His back
Did He call on His friends to return the attack?
No indeed the best Man that the earth ever knew
Loved even His foes who hurt Him through and through

All we are like sheep who have gone our own way
Though we know it or not our contempt made Him pay
By the way we have lived even more than our speech
We have spit in His face and kept Him out of reach
From His image we’ve hid, from His person we’ve run
Our dislike of God’s yoke, caused the death of His Son

Think again your response if to you one is mean
For forgiveness was offered to those who blasphemed
A Name above all that was worthy of praise
Who bore devil’s hate through the mouths He had made
Turn your cheek, bear your cross, if one day you will see
Like Him, best of friends come from worst enemies

But make sure every thorn that digs deep in your head
Comes also from hate toward a God men have fled
Bear likewise their stripes and their bitter reproach
Toward the God you now love and delight to approach
And know above all if you shine like God’s Son
Though all earth counts you dung, heaven’s praise you’ll have won.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.