Reflection on James 1: 23-24

For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

I’m at the county jail —
security check for a class I’ll teach.

Fingerprints. The guard says
they change over the years — who knew?
Birthplace, height, weight,
profession, eye-color,
and then he asks for my hair color
and for the first time in my life
I say – gray,
and he writes it down.

Suddenly I realize
that I’ve been holding my breath,
waiting for him to deny it.

I look at the mirror
and turn away, forgetting who I see,
because someone in the world
has taught me
to be ashamed of being old.

Of course I see the gray hair,
but not the wisdom —

certainly not how I will touch
the lives of particular men,
doing the word as only I can do,
and also hearing some words only they
have the lives to say,

leaving behind
my altered fingerprints.

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5 Responses to Reflection on James 1: 23-24

  1. Rosalie Sugrue says:

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with gray hair sister, check Proverbs 16:31 & 20:29 – I’ve delighted in my silver highlights for decades!

    • Maren says:

      I was so used to my Mom having light brown (slightly-lighter) till 80 and I look like her and thought I would go that way … not so much!!

  2. Stephen Price says:

    This is incredible…and beautiful. It’s also what I needed this morning; so thank you for that too.

  3. John says:

    wonderful. I assume they gave you back your documents and will let you out….

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