“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what
was lost.” (Luke 19.10)

Smeared Smock

The grease of fine dumpster dining,
The dank of countless shelter inns,
And grime of alleyway lining
All smear the man’s smock like my sins.

As endless nights blur into days,
The man’s moved on from place to place;
My heart, set deeply in its ways,
Knows sin won’t easily erase.

Like litter drifting in the street,
The man knows his social branding;
It is in poverty I meet
My soul with deep understanding.

Beneath the smock of my old ways,
My heart cowers in the dank cold:
Begging forgiveness all my days;
Expecting naught but glare and scold.

Yet, like the shelter’s Christmas feast,
He serves His mercy to the poor;
He comes to seek and save the least —
To embrace, forgive, and secure.

He lifts my smock off to replace
It with a white garment of grace!

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1.7-8a)

Holy Spirit, touch my heart with the grace of knowing my true poverty, that I may be open to the cleansing forgiveness of Mercy. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2007