Yesterday an old and familiar enemy lurked
outside my windows and door,
tempting me like a favorite lover of days past
with whispers and promises; words
I’d heard and used before.
I’m not surprised she kept trying to seduce me:
I’d never been able to refuse her painted face.
I cried out to You with a heavy heart
to take her away from me, to keep her on the cross;
You smiled, Your face bright, and asked me
How could I expect to keep my home free of mold
if I scrubbed all of it clean except for one closet?
I knew exactly what You meant.
I went to a hidden, shadowy place
where gifts from my old foe were still locked away:
trinkets and love letters and smoke-filled photos.
They had to be destroyed once and for all.
When I picked up the box,
still pungent with the scent of her perfume,
my heart grew weak and I cried out to You
for strength and courage,
and found I had just enough of each
to throw it all away.
Did my soul swell with the Holy Spirit?
Did I feel You fill up the void?
Not until I fell on my face,
my eyes two oceans of tears,
wretched, hopeless, helpless;
it wasn’t until my heart shattered
into a million pieces
that it was finally able to hold the ocean.
It wasn’t until I died
that I finally began to live.
Sin has no power over me
except that which I give it.
Today a cleansing rain falls,
obliterating all tracks and traces
of an old enemy.