Tag Archives: repentance

Taking a Knee

I’m taking a knee. I’m taking a knee for you.

People take to their knees in prayer. When I kneel, I humble myself and say, ‘I’m willing to intentionally be less than you.’ It’s plain I’m to do this before God. But I also should do this for you, because Jesus told His disciples, ‘This I command you; that you love one another.’ Love is a sacrifice. Love is taking a knee.

I don’t kneel before you because of your greatness, but because I’m commanded to love you, sacrificially. I don’t kneel to glorify you, but to acknowledge my own flaws before God. I take a knee now to demonstrate that there’s something gravely wrong.

So, the knee is a tool – a tool for proclaiming my humility.

The knee has also been turned into a weapon – a weapon of oppression.

George Floyd didn’t ask to take a knee, but he took a knee to his death. It wasn’t his knee and it wasn’t his choice. He prayed aloud until he died, but no one listened.

I’m still on my knees, praying that it’s the final outrage; this is not what taking a knee is supposed to mean. I have had enough, and won’t stop praying now; I’m just getting started.

Taking a knee used to only be a football term. The quarterback would take the ball and kneel, ending the play.

Taking a knee no longer ends the play. It has begun the play, and the clock is running. With God’s help, we will see its hands spin forward into a day filled with hope and peace. Taking the knee is now a word about justice. But first and foremost it must be a word about humility.

In Isaiah 61 God promises beauty for ashes, and we have more than enough ashes right now. But I’m not talking about burned buildings, wrong though those are. I’m talking about generations of burned lives.

Who is promised this beauty from ashes? Those who mourn. So, let us mourn together as brothers and sisters, and receive this beauty for ourselves. Isaiah goes on to say that those of us who do mourn will repair the waste cities and the desolations of many generations.

Let’s proclaim – together – that these generations of desolation have finally come to an end.

Let’s proclaim – together – that the day of freedom and justice begins now!

Let’s proclaim – together – that we will first look inside ourselves for these.

Let’s proclaim – together – that we will no longer be silent in the face of evil.

And let’s proclaim all this on our knees.

If you liked this essay, you may also like this poem.

Photo from Erik Mclean via Pexels

White Silence Drowns Out Black Voices

Yes, I’ve been silent far too long,
And for this I repent.
I’ve tolerated my own indifference,
Which fed my silence, and made it fat.

Silent about hate,
Silent about fear,
Silent about what you’ve been going through,
Even though I can’t possibly understand it,
Because I’ve never lived it.

The howling of my silence now deafens me,
Now that I am awake to it.
Yes, I’ve been silent far too long,
And for this I repent.

All that out of sight is out of mind
Living leads to laziness.
Of course life appears good when
No one complains.

In my silence I couldn’t hear your complaints
That were right in front of me.
I was deaf to your cry and blind to your pain,
And so could not help but be silent.

Yes, I’ve been silent far too long,
And for this I repent.
Yes, I’ve been indifferent far too long,
And for this I ask forgiveness.

If you forgive and take my hand
And lift me up from my knees
I promise to walk with you on the hard road,
The road to redemption.

I’ve been silent far too long,
And my silence kept me from traveling
The hard road to redemption,
That is best walked with a brother.

Yes, I’ve been silent far too long,
And for this I repent.
Yes, I’ve been indifferent far too long,
And for this I ask forgiveness.

Read more poetry here

From my most frequent correspondent

Time to Repent

I had to undertake some serious repentance this morning.

My thinking was all wrong.

Two days ago I wrote about being deemed a so-called ‘Vulnerable Adult,’ at a heightened risk of a serious run-in should I contract what’s going around.

I wrote, So, I’m now locked in my home for 12 weeks. I have 81 days of confinement remaining, as of this writing.’

For this, Lord, I am sorry.

Here’s where I was wrong.

My mindset had me counting down to freedom. My eyes were only set on the day when I will no longer be confined to my home.

But what is freedom, really? Is it truly measured by my ability to come and go as I wish? Do I define it only by an untrammelled lifestyle? Or is there more to it than that?

What hauled me up short this morning was the reminder that I am not my own. When I gave my life to Christ, I set myself at His bidding and I look to Him for my freedom, not the ability to pass through the door of my flat.

I am so, so wrong to dumb down my definition of freedom to something mundane.

The classic verse on this is Galatians 5:1, ‘For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’

Or, put another way, ‘Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free – not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.’ (TPT)

Again it begs the question, how do I define my freedom? If my freedom comes from surrender to Christ, I can hold onto that freedom wherever I am and whatever I’m doing.

There are lots of memes floating about on social media right now about how Paul wrote half the New Testament while under house arrest, and how Sir Isaac Newton developed his theory of gravitation while ‘self-isolating’ from the plague.

That’s all well and good, but puts the focus in the wrong place. That focus is still on doing. We need to focus on being. It’s out of a state of being that all our doing becomes well-anchored, and makes sense.

Remember, God doesn’t call us to a life of doing to earn His love. He calls us to a relationship of love with Him, which stirs our hearts to then get busy and do, which is how we love others.

He calls us to take action out of love, not just be people who love to take action. There is all freedom in the former and less freedom in the latter.

‘Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do.’ (Galatians 5:13, TPT)

Back to my need to repent, and change my thinking.

I’m no longer counting the days to freedom. That would leave me ‘setting up a base of operations’. I’d be hunkered in my bunker, waiting to be let out.

The truth is that I was released from prison the day I gave my life to Jesus.

I have my freedom today. The only question left is, what shall I do with it?

After I celebrate with joy, that is.