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Jennifer Galey

First Prize: 2012 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $600

About this Poet:
My husband and I reside in Pelham, Alabama where we are actively involved in a marriage ministry. In addition to poetry, I write devotions for our website.

About this Poem:
"When I was a Sadducee" was inspired to reach those who suffer in bondage from self-imposed condemnation. Satan deceives souls to believe that certain sin is too wretched to be forgiven and some sort of spiritual separation marked by shameful penance is necessary before we can be fully pardoned. God reveals sin to us to repent and receive the free gift of grace. Grace is inherently undeserved. The power of the Gospel lies in the finished work of the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, ESV).

When I Was A Sadducee

The same day Sadducees came to Him, who said that there is no resurrection, and they asked Him a question, (Matthew 22:23, ESV)

The stained glass walls are colored
with the turbulence of suffering.
Inside the temple questions rise
above the serenity of the steeple.
Murals of dappled saints stare
with their round anguished eyes
through the sculpture of my soul.

Kneeling low on trembling knees,
I light a candle to illuminate
the nameless carcass of sin.
With a gasp of shameful recognition,
I confess the face is my own
before shrinking into the stretched
shadows of bereavement.

I lean in to decorate Your living altar
with a dozen flowering prayers of penance.
The exhale of my unbelief has tainted
the fragrance of Your sacrament.
Beneath the blood warm silence,
I oscillate inside the casket
embodied by my own hesitance.

Dripping wax falls from candelabras
like condemnation on my clammy hands.
Gleaming thoughts of accusation flicker
before flaming into vain imaginations.
I ask you if I am alone—
My stony voice echoes inside
the coldness of my hollow heart.

I search for a pulse of dying faith
in the darkness of this empty space
where I presumed You would reside.
With red-rimmed eyes, I limply walk
down the center aisle where I collide
with two bright angels You have sent
to guard the resurrection of Your reply.

Copyright ©2012 Jennifer Galey