Monday Morning Poetry

Just so you know, I’m working on posting another blog on “Why Pastors Quit,” but until then, enjoy another round of Monday Morning Poetry. The poem I’ve selected for today is “Oft for Our Own” by Margaret Sangster.

Let me set it up for you. I mentioned in my sermon yesterday that we’re often the most brutal toward those to whom we’re closest. I’ve known husbands and wives who are simply vicious toward one another. Never for a moment would they think about talking to others that way, but with a husband or wife it’s fine.

This poem by Margaret Sangster is about this phenomenon. Choose your words carefully; you may not have time to apologize:

If I had known in the morning
How wearily all the day
the words unkind
would trouble my mind, that
I said when you went away;
I would have been more careful, darling;
nor given you needless pain;
But we vex our own
with a look and tone
We may never take back again.
For though in the quiet evening
You may give me the kiss of peace;
Yet, it might be, that never for me
The pain of the heart may cease.

How many go forth in the morning
and never come home at night,
and hearts have broken
for harsh words spoken
That sorrow can never set right.

We have careful thoughts for the stranger
and smiles for the sometime guest;
But oft for our own,
the bitter tone,
though we love our own the best.

Oh, lips, with curve impatient
and brow with a look of scorn
‘ Twere a cruel fate
were the night too late
to undo the work of the morn.

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