Don’t Touch That Stove!

A poem after Ann Voskamp’s recent tweet on bitterness:

“Holding on to bitterness is like holding a flame in your own hand and wondering why you feel burned.”
– Ann Voskamp

Don’t Touch That Stove!

You who taught your children
to keep away from the stove—
why does your own hand
reach for the burner
and even carry the very flame
that scorches your palm,
now blistering? Quick!
Run to the sink. Turn
the faucet full blast.
Open your hand
under cold running water.
Break a leaf from the aloe,
slice it lenghtwise, lay its healing
thickness, cut side down,
on your palm. Close your fingers
and press the soothing fruit
to absorb into the burn. This
is what you should hold.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

An excellent article on forgiveness by Mark D. Roberts: How Can I Forgive Someone Who Doesn’t Admit to Having Done Anything Wrong?


5 thoughts on “Don’t Touch That Stove!

  1. This is what you should hold. Wow, Monica, it’s so lovely!
    Do you know what we use for burns? Tiger balm!! If I put it on right away there’s no effect at all. But how to draw out that metaphor?

    • Tiger balm! I’ll have to look that up!

      I get it, how sometimes there’s no obvious immediate effect. I guess it can take a while for forgiveness to get from head to heart, from the mental statement of the will—“I forgive”—to the real peace that follows. Maybe like the man who said, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” it can be something like, “Lord, I forgive. Help my unforgiveness!” What do you think?

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