treason on trial.
I wrote this poem around a month after Honey left. I have very mixed feelings about it. To me, it lies somewhere in the murky water between ‘Crappy 4th grade poetry contest 2nd runner up’ and ‘some of my best writing ever’. That’s quite a chasm to cross, I realize. All I know is, whenever I revisit it, it hearkens me back to those intensely agonizing first days, and it makes me deeply thankful for the salve that time can be. Time doesn’t heal everything by any stretch…but sometimes it sure does a good job of lying to you and making you think it can. For so long I believed remembering would be the only thing to hold Honey accountable. Now, I know that’s simply not the case. There’s so much that I’d love to forget. I want to play with my babies in the sunshine and think upon things that are lovely and decent and true. “That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.” – Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption.
Treason on Trial.
I’ve come to beg you’d consider my proposition. You know, oh God, how I’ve been put in this position.
Here I stand, lifting my hands to the sky, clouds, and ocean. Hear my cry, Jehovah Rohi! Set the earth itself in motion.
Set it on a course to utterly ravage his life. May agony replace joy, delivering enmity and strife.
For justice is not mine, as Romans does say. ‘Vengeance is mine’, sayeth the Lord, ‘and I will repay.’
Hear my plea, oh Lord! For I am pierced through. Summon the rocks. Summon the sea. They will know what to do.
My wound was mortal; as swift a death as my dreams. Though I walk and I breathe, I’m not alive as it seems.
Set loose from fecund ground all creatures that hiss, with poison as deadly as my love’s betraying kiss.
Awaken the dirt; inspiring pebble, sand and seed…and whisper to them softly ‘go crush that poisonous weed’.
And when the forces, in concert, have sought out this man, we’ll endeavor to begin the rest of my plan.
All I ask is a hearing, Lord, public and revealing, that the world may soon know what this man was concealing.
Make him answer for his treason, Lord, no matter the price. Use the angels. Use the demons. I care not of the device.
And just who am I to invoke these forces, you wonder? I am no one. I am everyone. I am wife. I am mother.
I was his servant, and his lover. His advocate for life…now bearing betrayal’s scar where he plunged in the knife.
All at once I simply knew that my pleas had been heard, as God’s army sprang forth with a single whispered word.
‘Go.’ I heard audibly, as earth, water and wind leapt to wage my private war against this man who had sinned.
Who never once thought he ought to feel shame; the earth itself now indignant at the mention of his name.
Elements diverted from their course co-mingled to form an impromptu tsunami and an F5 storm.
That crashed though the night on their course, to instead, uproot a comfortable liar from the warmth of his bed.
‘It’s coming, you charlatan! You coward. You thief.’ My heart, mind, and body ached with relief.
‘You’re about to find, my dear husband, that justice is true. I’ve implored the heavens to make an example of you.’
‘May your brazenness ring out like a beacon at night. May your new-found joy be an affront to all that’s right.
‘The storm is coming, my dear, as you sleep unconcerned. A reward, without question, you’ve undoubtedly earned.’
‘By morning, there will be no way to disguise your poisonous heart and your treasonous lies.’
I suddenly stood in darkness on a quiet street I did not know, while a sort of menacing rumbling all around me did grow.
The silent night now pierced by a shrieking, wretched wind signaled to the the stars and sky the show would soon begin.
Windows imploded as hurricane winds found his room and waves split the foundation in one frothy salty plume
Branches, trees and vines their master did obey and found purchase at the bed where this sleeping liar lay.
Roots like fingers sought his legs to drag this coward to the street, shivering and alone his terror was complete.
I turn my attention to suddenly see a courtroom revealed, sprung up clumsy and roughshod in a nearby field.
A quick witness chair had been fastened with some logs and soft hay, by invisible forces God summoned just for this day.
On risers sat hundreds within this great justice hall while a bleary eyed fool sought to make sense of it all.
I can’t help but feel pity and a slight touch of glee to see him suffer but a mere fraction of what he did to me.
‘Don’t delight in his fall’, whispers a sudden inner voice, ‘Or God’s wrath will turn to YOU for that choice.’
I become aware of warring factions on both my left and my right. An angel, a demon. Both pleading in the night.
The angel on one shoulder, ‘Forgive! Or suffer unending pain.’ The fellow on the other crying ‘Exonerate him?! Are you insane?!’
I ignore this battle and turn my focus to the accused, who is oblivious to my plan and wholeheartedly confused.
He’s slumped on the witness stand, concerned but sedate, slowly but surely realizing his fate.
I walk in with authority, and look him square in the eyes. He shrinks at the prospect of me revealing his lies.
‘Come one, come all, to the great and terrible show! By the end it’s my wish the full truth you will know.’
The court is packed to overflowing with every person we know. Yet…those warring faction’s voices are starting to grow.
Again, I ignore them and prepare to proceed. ‘I’m equipped with the truth’ I thought. ‘And that’s all I need.’
‘You’ve no defense’, I announce. ‘So just sit back to see a video of the night you betrayed and abandoned me.’
Your friends shift awkwardly at your weakness on display, shaking their heads in shock as their respect drains away.
They now know you’re a nothing but a cold-hearted liar. They know you threw something beautiful on a funeral pyre.
I then start to unravel what remains of this man. I take him to task on each and every lie within his selfish plan.
Once I’d eviscerated him to the point where I felt fully sated, I read my victim statement aloud (the part he most hated).
Calmly and quietly, I shifted from the rage to the pain, and gave over to the wounding that I’d so long contained.
‘How wretched is your heart, husband. How persistent my grief. I’d never harm your body, but I’d love to steal your peace.
How careless your mind, so prone to this world’s lies…that tell you that that grass is greener while this garden dies.
My trusting heart ran riot with love’s choking weeds while you carelessly scattered betrayal’s evil seeds.
How cruel and weak a coward to make a fool of me this way, and for denying any one of us the right to have a say.
Your selfishness forever robbed these dear children so small of the intact family you must think is worth nothing at all.
No nights spent together laughing at the table while I cook. No forts or wrestling or hugs, or quietly reading a book.
Your wife’s hard work to raise them never to be repayed with a loving touch given, or a gentle word displayed.
You simply vanished, my love, and with that all my dreams, leaving a broken family forever ripped apart at the seams.
Putting one ounce of effort toward reaching out to my soul was too much to ask to keep our family whole?
Marriage doesn’t come with tall fences, or with barbed wire. We must hedge it with protection against the world’s ravaging fire.
When most vulnerable, you should have known to draw near to a wife who treasured you fully and the God that held you dear.
A seductive whisper in your ear and 14 years were erased. Your loving smile replaced with an obtuse, distant face.
No shred left of my husband who I’d respected and revered as I learned of the cruel mistress who’d knowingly interfered.
And what of her public outcry over cheaters who betray trust while mocking me, laughing, and flaunting MY husband’s lust?
Your lover’s sharp disdain for a woman she’s never even met belies her guilty conscience and her total lack of regret.
A loving wife and family is something you can’t ever replace. You went from beloved husband and father to utter disgrace.
What I hope for is simple, no less and no more. What I hope for is that you marry that…person.
So that when you get to the place where a deep trust resides…
And years and children and life’s troubles abide…
Where trust bonds you to lover, and lover to you…
And you know in your heart this will always be true…
And the world you’ve built together is one you know to blessed, as the warmth of that deep faith, like a blanket, gives rest,
May it all be stripped away in one traumatizing night, where you know, without swinging, you’ve already lost the fight.
May the man she’s been seeing refuse to back away, so you and your family are given no fighting chance to stay.
Yet you’ll never begin to know what it was like for me, for one day while you may fight for one, I was fighting for three.
Her lies reveal lies, and those lies reveal more. And it’s all you can do to keep from going to the floor.
When you go to stand, but your knees and soul do fail…only then, dear husband, will you understand your betrayal.’
I drop the mic and walk out, feeling such sweet relief, yet wondering why I still feel deep sadness and grief.
I’d had my day in court, my grievance against him filed… so why then does it feel like I’m the one defiled?
Could it be, I wondered, that in my quest to be right…it was my soul instead that was harmed on this night?
A voice pierced the silence, filled with respect and great clout. ‘Im sorry to say that a character witness was left out.’
My eyes land on the place where nobody should be, to see Jesus’ dear face staring right back at me.
A torrent of regret threatened to burst my inner dam, as Jesus whispered quietly ‘He’s covered by the lamb.’
‘Righteousness is mine, and though you may wish him hell…always remember, my dear daughter, I was at YOUR trial as well.’
‘God’s judgment is a fact that every person must face, but because I love you, dear children, I willingly took your place.’
‘Forgiveness isn’t condoning; it’s simply knowing you’re not me. It’s my job, not yours. And you need to be set free.’
‘I let this trial happen so that you might understand, justice will be served…but not by your hand.’
‘You’re tethered to hatred, to suffering, and to loss. Lay it down, my dear girl, at the foot of the cross.’
I kneel in deep reverence, as I’m so graciously reminded…sin’s grip is ever-deceiving, and it has had me blinded.
Being right can never heal me, nor can it forgive my behavior.
The only thing that can do that is the grace of our Savior.