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MY PRAYER: Father,
When I came to You in my distress,
I wanted You to “make everything better,”
To nurse my bruises like my mother once did,
When I was a little boy and hurt myself,
To tell me that I would be okay and that
My pain would vanish and soon be forgotten.
But this is neither what You did nor what You intended.
Instead, You made it crystal clear that
I could not nurse my wounds in solitude,
Nor take pleasure in the bitter fruit of self-pity.
Instead, You insisted that I “suck it up,”
Stretching me far beyond my comfort zone,
Insisting that I be more open, more vulnerable,
And more honest than I have ever been.
You guided me, leading me to do
The next right thing, regardless of what
The consequences happened to be,
Regardless of the outcome.
 
Despite my fears and my desire to hide
The exact state of my heart, which I tried
To mask with a disingenuous smile, I obeyed,
Doing the next right thing—one day after another.
Knowing that following Your will was my only option,
Even when being obedient seemed weak and foolish,
I sucked it up and did what I knew to be right—
Time after time, until doing so became natural and easy.
 
Father, You know the plans You have for me, and I do not.
I cannot see the future nor understand it,
But I know that by following my conscience,
Even when it would have been easier to walk away,
Returning to the false comfort of my vices,
Something of great value has been created within me.
It has now become an integral part of my character,
And I am grateful that You have made me a better person,
Amen.
 
Jack Watts
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THREE Things to Do in Life


From FEET OF CLAY:
 
There are three things a man should do with his life:
 
Plant a tree
 
Have a child
 
Write a book
 
He should plant a tree to feed those who will come after him when he is gone. He should have a child so that his name will endure. And he should write a book so that the purpose for his life will be known forever—Ancient Hebrew saying.
 
Jack Watts
 

MY PRAYER: Father,
Now that I have opened myself up completely,
Being as honest and forthright as I know how to be,
I want to ask You, as humbly as I know how,
To change anything in me that You desire.
You are Almighty God; and I am not.
I am weary of trying to walk a path
That has not been ordained by You.
As I continue to purge my soul
Of all the toxic emotions that remain,
I know I need to go one step further.
 
I need to forgive those who have hurt me,
Absolving them completely from all culpability.
I have nursed my anger and bitterness
For far too long, and I have paid
A heavy emotional price for doing so.
 
I believed I was punishing them
With my militant refusal to forgive,
But I have been punishing myself instead.
I don’t want to live like this any longer,
Having to pay a huge price for remaining callous.
I forgive them—just as You have forgiven me.
I release them completely—just as You have released me.
Give me the strength to put aside my resentful feelings,
Never picking up these debilitating emotions again.
Allow me to walk into the future completely free
From each of my debilitating and hurtful emotions
That has been so destructive and self-limiting,
Amen.
 
—Jack Watts

MY PRAYER: Father,

As I try to understand Your leading
And the direction You desire for me to follow,
It seems easy enough, but it never is.
I try to predict what You are doing—
What You have in mind for me,
But I never really know what that is.
It seems like I’m constantly in the dark,
And You are never predictable.
Just when I think I understand Your pattern,
You move in a different direction—never returning
To the path I have learned to predict.
All I can do is listen to Your gentle whisper,
Which guides me toward my destiny.
Sometimes, I wish it were easier to be certain—
To know exactly where You are headed,
And what the outcome of following You will be,
But that is not my role—not my lot in life.
 
My job is to be keen and vigilant,
As You guide me through life’s circumstances,
Always pointing me toward higher ground,
Steadfastly focusing on Your predetermined purpose.
Having walked this road with You for a while,
I know You can be trusted completely.
This is all I need to know to sustain me,
But I wish I knew more. It’s what I always want,
Amen.
 
—Jack Watts

FEET OF CLAY: So many people liked my story that I thought I would finish it for you. Again, the book is fiction, but this part of it really happened to me—exactly as I relate it. (This is what I looked like at the time. I’m behind my mom wearing a plaid shirt. In this book, my name is Cole, and my mom’s name is Midge, not Murph.)
______________________________________________________
 
From that moment forward, Sister Anna Catherine had it in for me, which wasn’t entirely unfair. She was on my case daily. If I didn’t do my homework precisely the way she wanted, I paid dearly. She would embarrass me routinely by saying things like, “Cole, someone with an I.Q. like yours should be able to answer that question. You’re not stupid, you know.”
She never let up—never. She made a derisive comment about my I.Q. every day—without exception—which made me feel dumber than I had in the first place. I hated going to school and faked being sick routinely. Like most teens, I put off doing my homework until the last minute. Because I liked the TV programs on Sunday night, I skipped doing my homework, which was voluminous, preferring to be agonizingly sick on Monday morning instead.
One Monday, my plan failed—even when I writhed in pain from a near fatal stomachache, completely contrived, of course.
Midge said, “I don’t care how sick you say you are. I don’t believe you. You’re going to school.”
I hadn’t counted on this. Grudgingly, I went to school that day totally unprepared, which did give me a stomachache—a real one. That’s the day “the you-know-what” hit the fan in Sister Anna Catherine’s Latin class.
I walked in without having finished my Latin homework, cursing myself for choosing to watch Gunsmoke and Lawman instead of translating three paragraphs from Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War. As soon as class started, Sister Anna Catherine asked for my homework, which I reluctantly admitted I hadn’t done.
Without saying a word, she went to her desk and retrieved a white tennis ball, which she held out for the entire class to see. Instantly, everybody paid attention. My classmates couldn’t wait to see what was about to happen.
“Cole, come up here right now,” Sister demanded. She could barely contain her glee, which would have given away her true goal—my complete humiliation. When I reached the front of the class, she said, “Cole, I want you to bounce the ball. Each time you bounce it, recite the Latin declensions—singular and plural—for all five persons. Do it now, and do it without making a mistake. With an I.Q. like yours, that should be easy enough.”
Everybody in class was on the edge of their seats, knowing what a daunting task this was. There were a total of fifty answers, and I had to give them in fifty bounces. I wasn’t sure I could get them right in English, which only has three declensions and three persons, totaling nine answers. But Sister Anna Catherine handed me the ball—intent on mortifying me in front of everybody.
Without complaint, which I knew would be futile; I took the ball and started bouncing it. As I did, I said, “A . . . ae . . . ae . . . am . . . ae; ae . . . orum . . . is . . . as . . . is.” Then, I stopped, having completed the first declension correctly in ten bounces. With a victorious smile, I handed the ball back to Sister.
“That’s just the feminine declension, Cole. I expect you to do the masculine, neutral, and other two declensions as well. Bounce the ball and start over.”
With that, she handed the ball back to me. Once again, I started with the feminine declension. Midway through the masculine declension, a boy in the back row started to laugh. Another followed. Finally Sister Anna Catherine let out a small giggle. When she did, the entire class erupted with laughter that a comedian like Jackie Gleason or Milton Berle would have envied.
The laughter was so loud my recitation couldn’t be heard by anyone, which allowed me to cover up several mistakes. Nobody cared; they were having too much fun—all at my expense. I was so embarrassed I wanted to cry, but that certainly wasn’t an option. Suddenly, and without forethought, I caught the ball, raised my arm, and threw it out of the open window. Nobody thought I would do something that crazy, including me. I regretted my decision before the ball was out of sight; but since it couldn’t be retrieved; I had no choice but to hold my ground.
Instantly, the laughter ceased as every kid switched his or her gaze from the window to Sister Anna Catherine. They wanted to see what she would do. Once again, she didn’t say a word. She simply turned and glided out of the room at a pace worthy of a marathoner—with her habit shuffling in the breeze. I just stood there stiff-necked in righteous indignation, not even bothering to return the timid looks of my incredulous classmates.
Although terrified, I tried not to panic. I hoped Father Dunnigan would just give me another reprimand. If that was all that happened, it would be worth it. By throwing the ball, I had put Sister Anna Catherine in her place. When I talked to Father Dunnigan, I intended to let him know how out of line Sister had been to humiliate me like that. He was fair. Unlike her, he would understand.
Once again, Father came to the classroom and motioned for me to follow, which I obediently did. As I passed Sister Anna Catherine, she had a triumphant smirk on her face, which was quite intimidating. For an instant, I wondered if I had misread the situation—badly misread it.
When we reached Father’s office, I walked in as confidently as I could under the circumstances. As I turned to plead my case, Father Dunnigan hit me on the left side of my face with a right hook that knocked me off my feet—flat on my back. Lying there—stunned and confused, I managed to prop myself up on my left elbow. Not yet cognizant of my surroundings, the left side of my face was completely numb, and my left ear was ringing. Stunned, I couldn’t fathom what had just occurred. Life seemed to be moving in slow motion. Dazed and disoriented, I began to regain my senses—as the numb feeling gave way to throbbing pain.
Before I could utter a word, Father knelt down beside me inches from my face and said, “Do I have your attention, Cole—your complete attention?”
In stark terror, I nodded vigorously. Father Dunnigan did have my undivided attention.
“That’s good, Cole. I’m going to talk to you man to man. May I do that?”
Again, I nodded vigorously—far too frightened to speak. I was terrified and couldn’t even cry.
“That’s good, Cole. Thank you for that.” In a clear, calm voice, Father Dunnigan said, “I’m tired of your disrespect. You’ve got a piss-poor attitude, Cole; and I want it to change. I want it to change right now—this very minute. Do you understand me, Cole?”
I nodded affirmatively; I did understand. By now, I was nodding vigorously—without stop.
“Good. I’m glad you do,” Father concluded.
Changing tone and moving away from his confrontational position, Father Dunnigan said, “Now sit here for the rest of the afternoon and say the Rosary five times. When you come back tomorrow, I want to see a completely new attitude from you. This is your last chance. If your attitude doesn’t change—not improve but change, I’ll throw you out of here on your ass. Do you understand me, Cole? Do you know I mean what I say?”
“Yes, Father,” I answered contritely while continuing to nod—just in case. By this time, the entire left side of my face had begun to swell, and it ached badly.
“That’s good, Cole. Now let me get you some ice.” With that, the altercation ended. I sat in his office whimpering from pain, fear, and embarrassment for the remainder of the school day, which passed uneventfully.
On the bus ride home, nobody spoke to me or sat beside me—not even Billy. Poncho had abandoned Cisco and chose to sit next to another boy from our class. The kids were curious, but this was far too serious for any of them to stick their necks out. I was on my own with this one, and most of them thought I got what I deserved anyway, including me.
Arriving home, as I opened the front door, Midge took one look at me and said, “Cole, have you been in a fight?”
“No, Mom.”
She just looked at me with a puzzled expression.
I said, “Father Dunnigan hit me,” bursting into tears as I did. Although I could tell Mom had been drinking, it didn’t matter. She was my mother, and I was just fourteen. I cried like a little boy—her little boy.
Once her brief consolation was complete, Midge’s nostrils flared. Emboldened by drink, she picked up the phone and called Marist High School. As she did, I listened intently, trying to control my whimpering at the same time.
She said, “Hello, this is Midge Cassidy. I want to speak to Father Dunnigan.”
As the receptionist spoke, I couldn’t hear what she said; but I did see Midge’s face become resolute. She was furious.
After listening to the receptionist for a minute, Mom interrupted, “I don’t care what kind of meeting he’s in. He has hit my son—with a closed fist, and I demand to speak to him immediately. Get him right now!” she insisted in her don’t-mess-with-me voice.
After a wait of several minutes, Father Dunnigan finally picked up the phone. When he did, Midge lit into him. “Father, my son’s face is swollen; and he says it’s because you hit him. Is this . . .“ she started to ask but never finished. Being interrupted, I could hear Father’s muffled voice speaking very fast, very loudly, and very authoritatively.
“But, Father, hitting a . . .”—again, he interrupted her.
After listening for another minute, Mom’s demeanor changed. No longer furious, she listened to every word Father Dunnigan spoke, nodding in agreement with him, which I could see but the priest could only sense, as he continued to speak nonstop for several more minutes.
Finally, she successfully interrupted him. With equal authority, she pronounced, “Father, I have something to say.” Looking directly at me in her slightly intoxicated state, Midge proclaimed, “If he ever does anything like that again, you have my permission to beat the shit out of him.”
 
—Jack Watts
 
 
 

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FEET OF CLAY: This story in my novel really happened to me, when I was in high school in Massachusetts, but the names have been changed.
_______________________________________________________
 
By the time I reached high school, Catholicism wasn’t nearly as influential as it had been just a few years earlier, but it was still there, robbing me of the carefree life I desired. To counteract its castigation, I became cocky and impious, which kept me in trouble constantly. I thought that since I was incapable of being a good Catholic, I would do my best to be irreverent. Going to parochial school provided me with ample opportunity to do so.
As a ninth grader, I can remember boarding the bus on the first day at my new school with my best friend, Billy Crenshaw. Both of us were wearing blue blazers adorned with the school’s crest, white shirts, gray slacks, and bright red ties. It was our school uniform. Our Catholic high school was nearly nine miles across town, making the long trek back and forth tedious and boring.
By that time, I had a girlfriend. Melissa went to public school, where I used to attend. I was despondent at the thought of not seeing her and my other friends after the long summer. I felt a lump in my throat and balked at going to Marist High School in Natick. All I could think about was how I was missing out on all of the wild tales of real and imagined bacchanalia—a ritual following every summer vacation. Most of the stories were wildly exaggerated, including mine—but fascinating nonetheless. I loved listening to them. I wondered if Melissa missed me as much as I missed her. Probably not, I thought, which deepened my misery.
Billy, on the other hand, eagerly embraced our new adventure. For him, it was a fresh start; and best of all, I was sitting right beside him. We were the Cisco Kid and Poncho—best friends through thick and thin.
 
Billy couldn’t have been happier. For Poncho, life was rich and rewarding but not for Cisco. Looking out of the bus window, our prospects for the future couldn’t have been further apart. As we headed toward school, I saw the glass half empty; Billy saw the glass half full.
When we arrived, our new school looked spotlessly clean. It also smelled like fresh paint, which brought a smile to my face, despite my commitment to detest every minute I was there.
When I looked at the girls, which was priority one, I was shocked. There wasn’t a cute one in the bunch. Those who didn’t have acne had mustaches—or both. For whatever reason, many were unaware that two eyebrows were preferable to one. None wore makeup other than dark red lipstick. Not one girl was blond, and most wore their mousy brown hair long, with bangs to hide their pimpled foreheads. It was as if the school had a sign—Preparatory School for Slatterns. My misery turned to despair.
At Marist High, the teachers were nuns, which by the look of them, was because they couldn’t “get none.” I had never seen such a grotesquely ugly bunch of women in my entire life. What they lacked in appearance, they made up for in mean-spiritedness. Always peevish, the nuns never smiled and seemed to enjoy inflicting minor corporal punishment on the students. Pinching was by far their favorite sporting event, and I quickly became one of their favorite targets. The nuns were from the Sisters of Mercy, which was certainly an oxymoron because they were a vindictive lot. They were furbissimas—a Yiddish term for old women who have become sour on life. It seemed as if every nun was a bitter, misanthropic, hateful, old hag.
The most vindictive, by far, was Sister Anna Catherine—my English and Latin teacher. She was a particularly malevolent crone. From the moment students entered her class until the period ended, no talking was permitted—not even a whisper. If some poor, unfortunate ninth grader breached protocol, Sister Anna Catherine would swoop down from her desk like a spider cornering a hapless fly caught in its web. With a gleam of delight in her mean-spirited eyes, she would grab the kid’s cheek with her thumb and forefinger and lead the unfortunate miscreant to the office to speak to the principal, Father Dunnigan.
 
Father Dunnigan was a broad-shouldered, handsome priest, who looked like a Hollywood producer had cast him for the part. He even had a charming Irish accent, which endeared him to everyone. He was extremely intelligent and very fair. Everybody liked Father Dunnigan, but he was nobody to mess with—that’s for sure.
I felt like an outsider from the moment I arrived and never acclimated to Marist. I hated it and remained aloof from everybody except for Billy. My way of protesting my forced incarceration was to sit in the back of the class, do as little as possible, and secretly hope I would get kicked out. If I did, I would be able to go to public high school with Melissa and my friends, leaving the trappings of Catholicism far behind.
At Marist, they loved to give homework—the more, the better. Sister Anna Catherine delighted in piling on assignments. When she did, at the end of every class, the students would groan audibly in unison, which was the only time she allowed a sound to pass without painful repercussions. Secretly, she loved this corporate, plaintive cry; I was certain of it.
Billy said it gave her an “A. O.,” which he defined as an Auditory Orgasm. Billy would add, “She gets off when she hears us whine—I’m sure of it. It gives her a little buzz—you know where.” I concurred and smiled every time Billy said it, which was practically daily.
 
By October, I was performing at a low C level, doing as little as I could to get by. Billy worked feverishly, which meant our grades were about the same.
There was one girl in class I absolutely loathed. Her name was Mildred Tedeschi—the smartest person in class and a world-class “brownnoser.” She always had her hand raised to give the correct answer. Even Sister Anna Catherine, who wore a perpetual scowl, as if she had just bitten into a quince, smiled approvingly every time she looked at her pet student.
Mildred was a little heavier than most of the other girls—none of whom were svelte; and she had a pencil-thin black mustache—like Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. It made her the brunt of many jokes from the boys—all deserved in my opinion. Teenagers, as you know, look for any flaw in a girl to criticize. Mildred had many, including an overly developed sphincter.
In Catholic school, each ninth grader was given an I.Q. test, which was administered by an outside agency hired for this purpose. Finding no reason to sandbag, I answered each question with ease, precision, and confidence. I was curious—like everyone else—to see if I was as dumb as my dad and the nuns said I was. Truthfully, I had no idea if I was smart or not. I didn’t have a clue. In those days, the best form of validation a kid ever received was to be left alone, which didn’t happen often. The process of discovering the results was long, however, with the results left in limbo, where Cary Sullivan resided. So, like all the other kids, I quickly forgot about it.
 
One day, about a month after the test was given, I was sitting in Latin class, paying as little attention to Sister Anna Catherine as I could. This was standard operating procedure for me. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, Sister called on me, saying, “Cole, are you awake back there?”
“Yes, Sister,” I answered, sitting up in my chair. I didn’t have my eyes closed; I was sure of it. My focus became heightened the instant she called my name though.
“Are you paying attention, Cole?”
“Yes, Sister,” I said, standing up promptly—as my apprehension mounted. “I’ve heard every word you’ve said,” which was more-or-less accurate.
“Really, Cole. Is that true?”
“Yes, Sister,” I said—now genuinely alarmed. All the kids in the room turned to look at me, knowing that something more interesting than conjugating Latin verbs was about to transpire.
Mildred Tedeschi smirked, hoping I was about to get in trouble. Sensing her malice, I looked directly at her, sitting in the front row. Recognizing she had been caught, she changed her look of glee to concern; but it was too late. I saw how happy she was that I was about to get in trouble—the little kiss ass. This really irked me.
“Cole,” Sister Anna Catherine continued—unaware of the silent exchange that had just transpired between Mildred and me. “I’ve just received the results of the I.Q. test given last month. Do you know what your I.Q. is?”
“No, Sister.”
“You have no idea of how high your I.Q. is?”
“No, Sister,” I said. By the apprehension in my voice, it was clear I was clueless. Frankly, I was worried I might start drooling at any moment—imbecile that I considered myself to be.
“Alright, Cole. Maybe you don’t. Let me ask you this: Your I.Q. is exactly the same as someone else in this class.” Looking from one student to the next for dramatic effect, she continued. “Tell me who you think that might be?”
I just shrugged my shoulders—genuinely mystified.
Miffed, Sister pressed me for an answer. “This isn’t rhetorical, Cole. Give me an answer. To whom do you compare in intelligence? Answer me right now,” she said in her most insistent tone.
“I don’t know; Billy, I guess,” I answered reluctantly—anxious for her inquisition to cease.
“Oh no, Cole. You won’t get off that lightly. You’re much smarter than Billy,” she said with a mirthless, wry grin. When she did, I cast a furtive glance at Poncho, who seemed to have no cognizance that his teacher had just verified his stupidity in front of the entire class.
This bothered me. Sister Anna Catherine had no right to be cruel and condescending to Billy—without reason or instigation, I might add. My sense of fairness had been offended; and I became determined to never allow this mean, old woman to get the best of me again—even if she was a nun and a servant of God. I concluded that if my attitude would send me to Purgatory, or maybe even to hell, then so be it. I’d rather be there than where Sister Anna Catherine was anyway. If heaven was reserved for people like her, I didn’t want to go.
“Give me another answer, Cole,” she insisted. “Pick another person. Look around the class, and give me an answer.”
“I don’t know, Sister, I really don’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t answer your question.”
Raising herself up to her full height of 5 feet, 2 inches, she barked, “Then, I’ll tell you; and I want everybody to listen. Your I.Q. is the same as Mildred’s. That’s right, Mildred Tedeschi. But she’s a straight A student, Cole, and you’re a low C student. Can you tell me why that is?”
I just shrugged my shoulders and said nothing, but I was no longer passive in this exchange. Sister Anna Catherine had cornered me and embarrassed me badly. Even worse, my sense of fairness had been offended. A quiet storm was mounting deep within me, and I knew I was close to defying Roman Catholic authority for the first time.
Unwilling to drop the subject or leave me alone, Sister pressed her point in an obvious attempt to humiliate me further. “Tell me, Cole—and all of your classmates—why is Mildred a straight A student and you’re inches away from being a D student? No more stalling. Tell me, Cole. Tell me right now.”
Looking directly at Sister, I said, “Because I don’t want to have her brown nose or her black mustache.”
The entire class froze. Even Mildred, who I had ridiculed mercilessly, had a look of fear on her face. Stunned by my effrontery, Sister Anna Catherine hesitated—but just for an instant, regaining her composure quickly. Without saying another word, she gave me a look of malice that made me quiver with fear. Then, she turned so quickly her habit swished like a full skirt, as she left the room headed straight for the principal’s office.
In the two minutes she was absent, nobody spoke—not even Poncho who was quietly whimpering. A sense of foreboding engulfed the entire class. Those courageous enough to venture a glance in my direction looked at me like I was a prisoner on death row, awaiting imminent execution. Even Mildred felt bad for me. I just stood there, while my classmates sat watching, as a feeling of pure dread overwhelmed me.
Father Dunnigan walked into the room with Sister right behind him. Without saying a word, he simply pointed at me with a motion to follow him, which I did instantly. When we entered his office, Father sat down with me to have “a little talk.” Patiently, and with no malice, Father Dunnigan tried to reason with me, imploring me to perform to the high standard of my mental capacity.
“God gave you an outstanding brain, Cole. It’s your responsibility to put it to good use.” Trying to exhort me, he added, “If you do, you’ll be able to serve Him your entire life.”
“Yes, Father,” I said—as if I actually knew what he was talking about.
I had no idea I was smart. This was the first I had ever heard that I was. My father routinely called me, “Dum Kopf,” which is German for “stupid.” By using this term, it made people think he was bilingual—with the added assumption that he must have served in the European theatre, during World War II, rather than being a salesman in Iowa. If I hadn’t been so frightened, I would have been confused. It never occurred to me I was smart, and nobody had ever suggested that I was either.
After he finished his exhortation for me to excel for the God’s glory, Father Dunnigan became confrontational for a brief moment. “No disrespect for a teacher will be tolerated, Cole—not as long as I’m in charge. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, Father.”
But that was it. No further punishment was administered, which absolutely astounded me. I thought, If you’re going to be bad, be really bad. You can get away with it much easier.
I had escaped punishment of any kind. I had been disrespectful to Sister Anna Catherine with impunity, which felt surprisingly good. Smiling, I said to myself, Way to go, Cisco! Things are looking up.
 
Best of all, Sister Anna Catherine couldn’t question Father Dunnigan’s authority under any circumstance. Nuns weren’t allowed to do that. There were some good things about Medieval Catholicism after all. As I left the principal’s office, I was grateful I didn’t get detention, which I expected and deserved. I was also secretly pleased I had said exactly what I wanted to say. Once again, Cisco was back in the saddle—the heroic cowboy who was always victorious. It was a wonderful feeling, but it didn’t last long.
 
Jack Watts
 

MY PRAYER: Father,
When You want my attention,
You know how to get it.
There are times when I feel
Like You aren’t really there,
Like You don’t really care,
Like my life has little meaning, purpose, or value.
Then, through my circumstances,
You shake me to the core, and I am undone.
This is when You begin Your relentless pruning.
At first, I don’t recognize what is happening,
And I cry out, ”Why me, Lord?”
I don’t like what is happening—not one bit,
So I resist Your efforts to make me
Into the person You intend for me to be.
 
I want to be Your favored child,
Strong, resourceful, and victorious,
But I want it to come easily, with little effort.
This never happens, of course, not for me anyway.
So, I chafe when You prune my immature ways,
Being precise in Your determined efforts
To change me from the inside out.
 
When I recognize what is occurring,
I bow me knee and acknowledge,
That Your hand has been hard on me,
But Your purpose has never wavered.
When You have finished, You seem pleased
With what You have pruned, knowing that
I will become stronger, more fruitful person
From each of Your efforts,
Amen.
 
Jack Watts