Friendship is a Verb (in a hurting world) by Stuart Wood - HTML preview

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I’d never have done it that way

If I knew what I know now.

Or asked such stupid questions,

If you had shown me how.

We’d have arrived much sooner,

If I had known the way.

And we’d still be together

If I’d thrown my pride away.

Our lives would be so different,

If only I had seen,

The way that God was leading

Is not where we have been.

“What?” and “If” and “Maybe”

Are easy when it’s done.

But they’re decisions to be taken

When you’re on the run.

With hindsight it’s so easy,

You know where you went wrong;

You see the steps you’ve taken

As you have gone along.

But life is one long journey.

We need to count the cost.

Experience is learned from good and bad,

Without it you’d be lost.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 39 of 135


Injustice & Abuse

‘The time is always right to do what is right’ (Martin Luther King Jr)

It is often when our unconditional love and friendship are most needed that we choose to make them most conditional. When we do, a healthy relationship can rapidly become abusive.

Then God Stepped In

My friends are my support

Whilst life is good they give me all I need.

We enjoy time together;

Share our deepest thoughts, our souls transparent,

Our lives laid bare to each other.

Silence is security; company and trust are hand in hand.

Smiles and tears weld our hearts.

Until I walk in the shadow of failure,

And confess my weakness and frailty.

Then, as I lie in the dust

You kick me harder.

My bared soul becomes a burning wound.

You remind me daily of my fall.

Will my mistakes haunt me all of my life?

I crave to feel God’s touch and His love!

Yet you rape me of that privilege.

In your quest for justice

You are blind to the needs

Of the person within this egg shell.

God must weep

As another cross is raised in His name.

Empty of love, but full of shame;

I hang there, naked and exposed for all to see.

Will I ever be able to trust again

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 40 of 135


When it is my friends who hammer in the nails and thrust the spear, Crown me with thorns and spit in my face?

Yes, friends were my support.

Whilst life was good

They gave me all I needed, until;

Until they left,

And then God stepped in.

This happened to a Christian friend mine at a time when they most needed help and support. Although the abuser walked away, the abused could not.

Partial Impartiality

I am your confidant,

Your rock in times of need.

Make yourself vulnerable;

Freely open your heart to me, because

You are safe.

I am your confidant;

Listening to your deepest sorrows.

Hearing that voice from deep within you

Whispering your fears and uncertainties. But with me

You are safe.

I am your confidant;

Lay your soul bare on my altar;

Feel secure in my arms;

Rest easy in my presence, because

You are safe.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 41 of 135


I am your confidant;

Your darkest secrets are safe with me;

Those thoughts you want hidden from others

Are secure in my trust.

You are safe.

I am your confidant.

Ever willing to give my time freely;

Holding your frail heart in my hands;

Making it easy for you to unburden, because you know

You are safe.

I am your confidant;

My love and friendship are unconditional;

My help and advice are impartial;

I’m here in the good times and in the bad, so

You are safe.

Sadly I cannot carry on.

You haven’t lived-up to my expectations.

I guess my unconditional love and impartiality

Really did have conditions, so I must leave you;

Naked and exposed…


There are always those people who get involved with helping others for the ‘kick of it’ and for recognition from their peers, rather than out of a real concern for their victim. The end-result is manipulation and abuse.

Mary Mary

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 42 of 135


Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How do your guilt-trips grow?

You show me love, say it’s from above;

But really it’s part of the show.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How long will you be my friend?

Will you say ‘Good-bye’ and make me cry?

I’m sure you will win in the end.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How can you be so cruel?

Your words are hushed, they leave me crushed,

And cowering here, feeling like a fool.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How can you be so blind?

I’m here so ill, yet even still

You give me a piece of your mind.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How can you believe such lies?

Your advice is free, but you never ask me!

Then you ignore my pleas and my cries.

Scary Mary, quite contrary,

How do you feel today?

Have you done your good deeds and sown the seeds

Of doubt, and made your victim pay?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How do you sleep at night?

Is your conscience clear? Do you feel God near?

Or does He weep at the battles that you fight?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

Why can’t you please be real?

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 43 of 135


No more shallow pretence, climb down off the fence,

And start to admit how you feel.

There are times when our ability to move forward is hindered or prevented by people who insist on reminding us about sins for which we have already repented and for which God has already forgiven us.

Sin In A Box

Hiding quietly in the corner,

Well away from public view,

Sits a box; it’s nothing special,

Really quite dull and bland in hue.

There is no key, there is no lock;

Joints and edges are hard to see.

The lid’s shut tight and never opens

Unless you press the button in me.

Locked inside are life’s cold secrets;

Though I can’t remember what!

All, I thought, have been forgiven,

Though others clearly think they’ve not!

It seems church friends and church leaders,

‘Forget me not’ where sin’s concerned.

Time is frozen at when I’m guilty;

Whatever I do I get my fingers burned.

They even seem to make decisions

On where I stand before Father God.

Decisions based on pure assumption,

A good excuse to use the rod.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 44 of 135


This sin in a box is only opened

When my accusers their lies expound.

From pew to pulpit, they’re all guilty

Of grinding me further into the ground.

Where is love and where’s forgiveness?

I see a vacuum hanging there.

Once more your words betray your actions.

You press the button and leave me bare.

Have you ever felt like this after you’ve been ‘helped’ by so-called friends?


Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

Up and down I go.

One minute feeling happy,

The next I feel so low.

When life is smiling sweetly

And the sun dries up the rain;

The attackers’ boots come kicking;

Down I go again.

Their timing is perfection;

I’m caught right off my guard.

My heart begins to crumble;

I hit the floor so hard.

I’m lying at the bottom,

Things surely can’t get worse!

Then Boot! Boot! Boot! From nowhere.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 45 of 135


This must be some dark curse.

I feel like some old football,

Kicked from pillar to post.

If friends are doing the kicking,

That’s when it hurts the most.

Some day the game will finish

And I’ll be left alone.

No longer bouncing wildly,

My fighting will be done.

How sad you’re now my attacker,

When once you were my friend.

Oh God! Please blow the whistle

And bring this to an end.

Tin Can

You drank from me until I was empty.

Then, as refuse, you cast me aside.

I lie here, exposed; waiting for the next passer by

To kick me out of the way,

Or crush me and toss me into the bin.

Oh! No! They’ve seen me! A glinting eye;

A smiling face. Good news or bad news?

Holding me gently, exploring what was once

A reason to want me, my label.

They look inside. I see disappointment etched on their face.

Bounce! Ouch! I’m rejected; thrown away; again!

More knocks; more dents; more scratches.

What was once beautiful, desired by many;

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 46 of 135


Valuable and sought after.

Now no more than an object of derision.

Keep low! Here comes another, lifting me from the dirt.

Held gently in his hands, I see a deep, a deep, oh! I don’t know!

Concern for my battered state? Compassion? I’m confused!

I’m being lovingly carried, lovingly cared for.

My dents; my scratches; my whole self; slowly being restored.

Dents do not just disappear; scratches do not smooth away by magic.

Pain and helplessness are part of my restoration.

But gradually, I feel new and I feel valued again.

My former beauty eclipsed by something much greater.

A knowledge that I am special and wanted; even needed!

I felt like an old tin can.

But I’m flesh and blood. And this flesh and blood

Has found, at last, purpose and a reason for being.

When a person is repeatedly on the receiving end of injustice or abuse, they find it very hard to trust anyone.


You had no time for me.

I was young; you were free

To do whatever you wanted,

Whilst I sat and listened.

You had no time for me.

As we grew older, separated by miles.

Cultures apart. But you never visited,

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 47 of 135


Whilst I sat and waited.

You had no time for me.

Different lives in different spheres.

Grown up, mature, responsible.

Whilst I was still a child inside.

You suddenly have time for me,

On your terms! Compensating for guilt

You’ve stored over the years,

When I was low on your list of priorities.

You suddenly have time for me.

I’m suspicious! Nurtured by neglect.

Matured by the experience

Of being abandoned.

The more sinister side of abuse is that it can be happening right under our noses but we either cannot, or choose not to see it.

No Voice No Choice

Over the years we shared so much;

A special word, a tender touch.

How sad your attitude has always been

Arrogant, confident, with actions unseen

By friends around us, who never heard

The aggressive threat or selfish word.

Not a partnership; you played boss!

What was your gain was often my loss.

My money was never really my own,

As your response has now shown.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 48 of 135


And still you press for more and more;

You’ve thrown me out and locked the door.

Poor health was just another chance

To play your tune, for me to dance.

You chose my weak times to be strong;

I had no chance to challenge your wrong.

You gave me lists of what you’d claim,

When I couldn’t even remember my name.

You push things on at such high speed,

Afraid to stop and admit your need.

How sad, your friends support your case,

But cannot look me in the face.

I’m homeless now, running to hide.

A broken ruin, bleeding inside.

You’ve controlled my life for many years,

Neglected love, cultivated my fears.

You’re so blind, you could not see

The way you were destroying me.

And now we’re left disputing trivia,

Like who owns the toothpaste and who owns the Nivea.

So convince them all you’re in control.

But running away will take its toll.

You cannot hide for all your life

From how you decimated me, your wife.

You left me dumb, without a voice,

As you gave me no chance, gave me no choice.

We need to examine our motives to make sure that we are not guilty of the thoughts, words or actions that we condemn in others.

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 49 of 135


Bread And Scorpions

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“Why, what have you done to deserve it?”

“What right have you to ask me for bread?”

“Someone else will give you what you need.”

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“I’m too busy at the moment, ask me later.”

“I can’t afford to give you any.”

“Shhh! Wait a minute; I’m doing something important!”

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“Don’t sit outside our church.”

“Don’t clutter-up our doorway.”

“Go away! You’ll put people off!”

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“Who invited you into our service?”

“Sorry, you’ll have to move; that’s my seat!”

“How long is it since you last washed?”

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“How long have you been here?” asks Jesus.

“Here, have mine!” says Jesus;

“Only bread?” asks Jesus. “Let’s go for a meal.”

“Please give me bread,” asks Jesus.

“Of course Lord. This is freshly made.”

“It’s Jesus! Come in! Make yourself at home.”

“What a privilege! We’re blessed to have you with us.”

“Please give me bread,” pleads the beggar.

“Is this man with you Jesus?”

“He is? Bring him in. Your friend is our friend!”

“Is there anything else we can do for you both?”

Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 50 of 135


Jesus wept.

Whose church is it anyway?

My Church

This is my church! Please stay away!

I need my spac