Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When does a person deserve forgiveness?

Is it when he asks? When he pleads?

Is it when he bleeds emotions onto pages for all to read?

Is it in his deeds, his atonements, achievements, or religious creed?

Tell me, when does a person deserve forgiveness?

Where is that bar, or the point, or the mark?

Is it far? Is it near?

Is it sincere from the heart?

Is it fear that keeps them impaired in the dark?

Where we can neither talk nor be heard without tears tearing apart.

When is forgiveness deserved?

After the sentence is served?

After repentance and penitence unpurged?

After the politicians’ votes merge, as if forgiveness is a mere word

on a piece of paper — print, copy!

I thought forgiveness was divine, an innate characteristic of humankind;

I thought forgiveness was virtuous, sublime and just — the safety measure to tether us in togetherness.

When does a person deserve forgiveness?

Is it after he dies alone in his guilt and regret?

Is it twenty thousand miles to the left?

Is it in the North, the South, or the West?

When can a person expect to be forgiven,

when he’s serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison?

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Shawn Harris is a writer incarcerated in Pennsylvania.