Pilgrim Poems

If not now, when?


Rose NilesMercy

by Rose Niles

Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. —Matthew 7:3–5

I catch myself
Prying at the motes
In other eyes
My thoughts
Tinged with disgust
And distaste
Condoned by the
Of friends like me
I catch myself
Fraught with the
This hell we create
Has a million eyes picking
Judging me
with disgust
This world I have participated
In creating
Is going blind with rolling logs
In rolling eyes
Then I quickly forget
My God
As I swill costly lattes
And delicately delight in small
Acts of the police
I control

Baptized, reared, and ordained a ruling elder in the Bronx at the age of fourteen, Rose Niles has served the church as a teaching elder, pastor, and supporter of theological education. Rose is bi-racial, a daughter of immigrant parents, a mother of one phenomenal woman, and a lifelong pilgrim. Amazed, she finds herself in Houston, Texas, serving Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary on this leg of the pilgrim journey. You can read more of her poems here.