Bitterness, like some evil intravenous

drips into each day

from a clear bag of memories.

He said, she said,

he did, she did,

he was, she was.

Daily, nightly, a steady dose

poisoning the soul.

Too many times the body convulses

shaken with anger

racked with sorrow

clenched with hatred.

Memory is a shackle

that foils the mind’s best intentions;

“Today I won’t remember.”

“I’ll just stop thinking about this.”

“I refuse to give this power in my life.”

And still the steady drip drip,

the same old symptoms.

Healer of our every ill,

where is your relief?


Time, like God’s gentle nurse,

lays a hand on the mind’s anguish

and inoculates us with grace.

Memories, still clear,

lose their power

as the body builds immunity,

year by year.

We cannot change the past

but peace arrives in time.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner”

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