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take

You will not have this - its mine!
Words that a 5 year-old says when someone reaches for his toy.
Words that a woman shouts when confronted by a thief demanding her purse.
Words that a landowner utters when threatened by an invading king.

You cannot take this away from me!
Words that the slaves sung to remind themselves that freedom can always be carried in your heart.
Words that martyrs cried out as they offered their lives for their beliefs.
Words that lovers whispered when they were parted by war.

Why are you taking this away from me?
Words that Job flung at a God who seemed to be deaf to his pain.
Words that don't know how this can end well.
Words that the chronically downtrodden have forgotten how to form.

Why did I give that up?
Words of regret spoken in hindsight.
Words that cannot bring it back.
Words that reveal powerlessness and perhaps a lack of courage.

Can you help me get it back?
Words that carry hope.
Words that have put aside self-reliance.
Words that refuse to accept injustice as the final answer.
Words that look for another way: not payback, but redemption.

Can I give you some of what I have?
Words that recognise how poor we all are at times.
Words that invite instead of force.
Words that give and receive with equal grace.
Words that open instead of close.
Freedom.
The word that silences all other words.

This is a poem for all those who have had precious things taken away from them in the name of religion, including my father. Let me be one who, instead of taking, learns to give precious things in the name of Jesus.
This is a photo of Dean's empty guitar case.

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