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The Library

by Mark Spencer © 1995

I don't know how it happened
There's no explanation
It was to be a routine
Bypass operation

But my heart couldn't take it
I know the doctors tried
Desperately to bring me back
The moment that I died

But I found myself floating
Drifting farther away
I wouldn't have expected
My life to end this way

I was drawn toward a light
Gentle and assuring
The sound of its haunting call
Seemed strangely alluring

But after I had entered
I found myself alone
In the most peculiar place
That I have ever known

I was in a library
It was gloomy and cold
Many books adorned the walls
Some were new ... others old

The books were dedicated
To chapters from my life
Each paragraph exposed me
And cut me like a knife

There were volumes related
To selfish transgressions
Printed on those pages were
My darkest confessions

Then I came across a book
That shared my righteous acts
With only fifteen pages
Devoted to those facts

Though I should have turned away
I couldn't help but look
In all of the library
This was the smallest book

Accounts of my trespasses
Were scattered all around
If I only had a match,
I'd burn it to the ground

This library distressed me
With all the books therein
A convicting expose
Of a life filled with sin

I tried to find an exit
A way out of this place
But there was no escaping
The truth of my disgrace

And that was when I saw Him,
Like a star burning bright
I feared I might be blinded
By His angelic light

From a shelf He took a book
And then started to read
I asked Him not to view it
Then I began to plead

But He kept right on reading
Tears flowing from His eyes
Until He'd read every book
Then each one He revised

Everywhere my name appeared
He changed it to His own
I said Lord I am guilty
These sins are mine alone

He said "This is why I died
And why I had to live
I will wipe away your guilt
Your sins, I will forgive"

Then He smiled and embraced me
And I knew it was true
He said "Come and see the place
That I've prepared for you"

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This poem was a finalist in the June 2021 poetry contest

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Click Here to contact Mark Spencer to request permission to use this poem.