The Grudge

The grudge sits squat and heavy

in the middle of the road between two people.

Built of solid rock by a team of experts

schooled in hurt feelings,

every chink is cemented with spite.

There are no windows or doors.

Unmovable as a mountain

it sits in the thoroughfare saying,

“Road closed.”


Newcomers to the road

smash into it unawares.

Oldtimers complain,

take long detours,

and shrug their shoulders.

Well intentioned reformers

come with pick-axes

and congratulate themselves

at the scratches on the wall

and the pile of tiny stone chips

after a day’s long work.


God shows up like a city planner,

declares that no permit was issued

and gives the demolition order.

“This is coming down. Now.”

“We won’t begrudge you your opinion,”

the people say, “But some things don’t change,”

their last words lost in the explosion

as the Spirit dynamites structures

built to last three generations.

As the dust settles and clears,

Jesus, rolls of blueprints at his side,

rumbles up in a bulldozer,

with a brand new site plan.  


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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