Category: Good Friday

Good Friday Reflection on Nails

Scripture  Luke 23:32—35 metalholes

Like sharp nails through sheet metal, through hard wood, through tender flesh – the damage pierces my soul. A word. A phrase. A look.

Some gossip.
A deed
Several deeds.
It snowballed. One thing led to another. One mistrust to another hurt. One nail to the next nail.

I hate.

I hate her.

I hate him.

I hate what was done, and what I have become. I hate my powerlessness. I hate being a victim. I hate. I hurt.

I can’t save myself.

How could I ever forgive?

How could Jesus forgive?

How do I pull these rusting nails out of my soul and offer a prayer of forgiveness?

How did Jesus do it?

And a part of me knew what I was doing. A part of me did not.

I drove those nails in.
I spoke those words that won’t come back.
I did those things that cannot be undone.
Time will not reverse for me. Although I keep praying it will.

I wonder – when others see me – do they see the criminal or the penitent?

Do they see what I did, or what I want to do?

Who do they see?

I hate.

I hate me.

I hate the situation.

I hate that God forgives but I sure can’t forgive myself.

And my victims…

Would they ever forgive me? Dare I even ask?

I don’t deserve it. Forgiveness is grace.

Unearned. Unmerited. Grace.

Oh holy God – the nails get removed, but the damage is done.

Teach us to forgive as you forgive.

The damage may or may not heal – but the forgiveness removes the nails to let the hope of healing begin.

And we are a people of hope.


Silent Reflection
– Who do you need to forgive?
– Who’s forgiveness do you crave?


Spoken at to the Thuston-Baltimore Ministerial Association Good Friday Service, 2018.