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Tears I Can’t Cry September 27, 2017

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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Michael N. Johns, 09/26/2017

My daughter is crying the tears I can’t cry,
I’m too full of anger, wondering, did God lie?
When His Son said we’d do the same things He had done:
Our prayers would be answered, our victories won
But my mother-in-law is still not doing well
I prayed, and still hope of miracles to tell,
But she’s dying. Did my prayers all stop right at my lips?
Why bother praying? My doubt fairly drips
Falling like my wife’s tears and I still just can’t cry
I want God to say yes, and the doctors to try
Something that will heal her; they’re just watching her die!
Praying, You healed Peter’s mother-in-law.  Now heal mine!
I’m shattered, and there are no answers for why,
While my family cries the tears I cannot cry.


“Write It More Like Jesus” March 25, 2014

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Jerry was one of my friends when I lived in North Carolina. I haven’t spoken to him in a few years. Years ago, I wrote an article and sent it to him for his opinion. He advised me that maybe I was being a little mean-spirited and sometimes I should look at my writing and “write it more like Jesus” would have said it.

This is a two-edged sword for me. I lose the brutal honesty of my sometimes harsh opinions, but sometimes I gain a level of gentleness that might be better. I also lose some of the negativity and gritty, shoot-from-the-gut emotion that I frequently think on as well. I think writing should be brutally honest sometimes, but I also know that sometimes we should temper our tempers with gentleness.

One of my favorite comedians, Craig Ferguson, has a comedy routine you can watch on Youtube that asks “Does this need to be said?” It’s completely profane and then, completely brilliant and hilarious. He said it anyway, so take that any way you want.

I’ve written something but I’m going back over it before posting because after I got into all those opinionated ideas, I thought of what Jerry said. And then I thought of what Craig Ferguson said. So as for what I wrote in a rough draft, I might or might not post it later.

Another brilliant person I once heard said one should “write like everyone you care about is dead.” That is to say, express yourself so honestly that it appears you don’t care about the fallout if say, your dad or mom or brothers or sisters or your best friend, or worse, your church circle, would read what you wrote. So which one to choose, which one to choose? Flip a coin.

Jesus wasn’t exactly walking on eggshells when he whipped the animals and tossed over the tables in the temple court. When he told the sinners to repent, some didn’t take it well and walked away. Others basked in his loving forgiveness, accepted it and became his friends. The religious teachers were offended when he called them hypocritical and advised them to simplify their arrogant “wisdom.”

Perhaps Jesus was gentle to you when you came to him humbly and agreed that what you had done was wrong in God’s eyes, and asked him for help, and a second (or millionth) chance. Jesus was famously asked, “How often should I forgive?” He didn’t answer “exactly 490 times, after that they’re done.” He answered to multiply your forgivenesses. As I recall, he was that famous gentle, forgiving Jesus when it came to Peter and denial, a woman caught in adultery, a Samaritan woman, Matthew the tax collector and his friends, and many, many more. Including me.

Is there a balance to be struck here?

So if I post it and if I don’t get it quite like you think Jesus would have written it, I’m sorry, Jerry. And if I do get it just like Jesus and you think it’s lame, I’m sorry, everyone else.


See also:


Loved that one, but it made me wonder which kind of writer the writer saw in himself.