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Sacrifice: A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

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Sacrifice

A solemn place within the heart

Wakes, resonates,

When I give to someone’s need

Until it aches.


I could have splurged on myself,

Bought something new.

Expensive desire fulfilled,

Life’s pain subdued.


Lonely place throws wide the doors

To welcome light.

When I sacrifice myself,

I come alive.

I Will Pray for You vs I Will Help You

I gave recently until it hurt. It hurt a lot, but it was worth the pain. I feel alive because I sacrificed for someone else. While I am now flooded with the light of new life, if I had not done this thing, darkness would have overwhelmed me. I could not have lived with myself.

This is the difference between saying I will pray for you and I will help you when we hear of someone in unfortunate circumstances. Those words, I will pray for you, are often used as a cop-out. They mean that we intend to do nothing to cause ourselves discomfort, although we might bow our head, close our eyes and mumble a few trite lines to the Almighty. But keep in mind, according to Matthew 25, the Almighty has already delegated the doing of self-sacrificial deeds to us. This passage tells of a day when God will separate the people of all ages as a shepherd separates the herd, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

The Sheep and The Goats

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Matthew 25:31-46, The Parable of the Sheep and The Goats

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you. When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

The Value of One Good Deed

Those on the left, of course, had done nothing for the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, though they may have prayed.

Christian evangelist and musician, the late Keith Green, wrote a song called The Sheep and the Goats based on the Matthew 25 passage. The final words to the song, spoken, not sung, go like this:

And my friends, the only difference between the sheep and the goats,

According to this scripture,

Is what they did, and didn't do!!

As far as I am concerned today, one good deed is worth a thousand prayers.

Keith Green, The Sheep and The Goats, Live From Estes Park, 1978

© 2018 Chris Mills

Comments

Lucy from Leeds, UK on August 27, 2019:

Beautiful and poignant poem - I particularly love the line 'life's pain subdued'.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 11, 2019:

Thank you, Brenda. I appreciate your words and the visit.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 11, 2019:

Very good reminder for all of us. I always hear people say they will pray for you but I rarely see anyone taking action.

This poem and the accompanying article is very touching. I hope more people will begin to do for others, as well as saying a prayer.

Good write.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on June 04, 2018:

Hi Chris

This is inspiring. Good deeds make a powerful and positive impact. Children need to be taught, by example, early in life to participate in doing good deeds.

Suzie from Carson City on May 25, 2018:

Chris....Dogs are such a joy.....I find them amazing. Sounds like you have a loyal, loving friend for life! With Darby by your side, you're never alone, He understands you better than any ole human!! I'm glad you went ahead and rescued him,,,I'm certain you are too! Here's to you & Darby! Paula

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 25, 2018:

Paula, I think many who say they will pray consider their prayers equal to other, practical things that could be done. To them, prayer is a good deed. I disagree, although I appreciate their sincerity. I know firsthand how easy it is to say the words, walk away and forget to do even that small thing.

Darby, my furry, 4-pawed buddy and I are getting along superbly. I am amazed at the passion he has for our friendship. On Sunday nights, he knows the weekend is nearly over and he sinks into his brooding. On Monday morning he doesn't even want to go for his 4:30 a.m. walk before I go to work. He truly is this man's best friend.

Suzie from Carson City on May 25, 2018:

Chris...I can surely relate to this. You've made an excellent point of understanding the true meaning behind, "Give until it hurts." In times of grief or other suffering, mere words seem to fall short. While most people are sincere, there are times when actions, offerings & going the distance, are precisely what should be done to show tangible support.

(Hope you & your furry, 4-pawed buddy have strengthened your bond!)

Peace, Paula

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 25, 2018:

Rasma, I appreciate your visit and words.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 24, 2018:

A most inspirational journey.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 21, 2018:

Michael, Thank you for those words. You got the message loud and clear, and I appreciate that. Peace and blessing to you as well.

Michael-Milec on May 21, 2018:

Best I ever read of your creation. Wow, Chris "sacrifice" is spelled "love" as your deed manifested. Million words in this case would be meaningless. The Man Of Galilee - God in human flesh came to show us- humans life's perpetual blessings. All is wrapped in giving. Give, give until it hurts - is core of the Gospel. If I understand well, your "new light revelation" followed when your given value caused greater worth. My small Slovbak brain can't fathom it yet, though I know , all my life I know that is true meaning to have God's/Christ's LOVE within us(John 14:23) perfectly Ilustrated by words of Matthew 25: 31-46.

Peace and blessing.

manatita44 from london on May 21, 2018:

What an interesting piece from you! I had to return to your name as the piece just did not seem to fit.

Interesting! This journey of ours.

A fine piece of poetry.