I wrote a poem as a boy that held both beauty and some truth,
But a line in it is not quite right; I was reasoning like a youth.
I wrote I’ll “pay you back for all you’ve done for me” and that’s noble enough, it’s true,
But pay you back for all you’ve done for me is something I could never do.

To pay you back, you see, I’d need a currency all my own,
But everything I have in life comes from reaping what you have sewn.
My money – for instance – comes from my job, and my job from my degree,
And my degree comes from my schooling that you paid for, for me.

Or if we consider my talents, I’m sure no one would find it strange
That the things I’m good at, I practiced in lessons you arranged.
Some might say I could give my time which I have because I’m alive.
But I was once a helpless baby boy who, without you, would’ve not survived.

So, I have no way to pay you back and I don’t know what to do.
It seems to me my life’s a gift: a gift to me from you.

But wait, that sounds familiar. Like a story, very old.
A story I heard as a boy. A true story that you told
Of God who’s given everything, a Savior who’s made a way.
A King who’s forgiven the debt of a people who could not pay.

It seems you’ve lived by His example. You’ve loved me as He loved you.
You cared for me, your little lamb. And, suddenly, I know what to do:

Enjoy you and respond with gratitude. Know you don’t seek to be repaid.
Love you because you first loved me. Like Him in whose image you were made.
Honor you at every opportunity. Praise your goodness, strength, and grace.
Your life is like a mirror, Mom, it reflects your Father’s face.

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