I've had this rhyme going round in my head lately:
"There Was a Crooked Man,"
BY MOTHER GOOSE
There was a crooked man,
Who walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
I think as we grow older, we think we are beyond nursery rhymes, in which many large philosophical truths and challenges can be found. The poetry and stories learned as little ones are done, aren't they? Left behind as though we were somehow beyond the bounds of the lessons they were designed to teach, or we suppose we took in their exhortations so well we have no need for reminders.
The Lord references crookedness in His word. Here are just a few things He has said on the subject:
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
And from Isaiah 59:8: The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.
Beyond nursery rhymes? I think not. I've been minded to compose a few additional stanzas of verse for the little ditty running 'round in my head:
He had some crooked children,
Who spoke with crooked smiles,
And from their lips came crooked words, both twisted lies and guile;
He sought to speak unto their hearts, consider what they wrought,
Holding tongues and choosing, to not say what was naught.
And so what once was crooked,
‘came straightened, true and sure.
Words were weighed and measured, determined false or pure;
We too, can learn a lesson to slow down as we ought,
And crooked words can be made right, spoken after thought.
Addendum: I had to post early, as my girls needed my computer; but a friend prompted the writing of the last stanza which I knew was missing. (Thanks Matt!)
Reflected in my mirror,
I see a crooked man,
Broken heart, mind, soul, and strength in need of God's own plan;
He came to love all sinners, our lame and feeble frames,
Reborn by grace, redeemed for love, He calls us out by name.