But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you,  then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever” (Duet. 15:16-17).


There is a chain that shackles me to thin air; and though

hidden from the eyes of men, its steel clutch has held

me down and rubbed me raw and bare.


If I sit long and still, I scarcely know the bindings there.

It’s in the flailing to be free, the desperate yanking against the

bars that shred my flesh and sever my soul from heart.


There are words within and thoughts buried deep that pound

against my brain and spirit, begging for release. There is more—

creativity, art, and beauty—the warm colors of kind generosity,


the silvered-crimson piercing of His hands and feet, all trapped

inside of me. Through narrow gate and knob less door, there is

the blurry image of God expressed in the distinct form of Jesus.


I was born upon a ray of sun and discovered the light within the

light. It brightened the night of dark and gave me hope to live,

to set my feet aright. My crooked legs healed, and my twisted feet


firmed as I plunged enraptured into depths of joy and drank from

bubbling wells. I forgave as forgiven; while, holding my gaze constant

upon a savage form so mangled and severe that most turn away.


There I wept at the bloody woiunds, and hope said to me, “You may not speak

or write but show such extravagance.” This is not a reduction but the very

hands and  feet of God. His oracle of action unparalleled to comfort the prisoner,


shackled once as I. Under the stars and mountains of majesty—the place where

You speak to me—I imagined my irons stripped and I set free. Heaven’s hope,

that purifies and delivers in turn, lies beyond this restraint of flesh chained in cold steel.


Where, let loose as a dove from a dark rocky cave, I soar above to heights

of glory where I dare to dream, only to become as mute, rendered speechless

and willingly shackled again — a love slave pierced by Your undeserved love of me.

©Bonnie Saul Wilks

Jerusalem, Israel

April 22, 1918

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