Blackout Forgiveness

I blacked out forgiveness. Before you unsubscribe me for fear, I’ve departed my Biblical values and beliefs, please hear me out. In the US we just celebrated Mother’s Day. It can be a day filled with difficult emotions for people who are grieving the death of their mother, the loss of a child, those in the throes of infertility, or for other reasons.

I’m within that demographic list. My mother died seven years ago but even before her death Mother’s Day was hard. We had been estranged for over a decade. The loss, betrayal, and emotional pain seemed to outweigh the good that was once part of our life. I would wrestle with how to honor someone you can barely speak with.

A few weeks ago, my teen granddaughter and I went to a creativity class. (Bear with me, this leads to my blackout forgiveness incident.) The class instructor emphasized that we each have creative gifts that God instills in us. All attendees were given a packet of supplies that included random pages from different books and a black Sharpie® marker. We were introduced to blackout poetry as a form of creative expression. My granddaughter enjoyed the exercise and I was pleasantly surprised by the activity.

Blackout poetry is created by using a page of text from a book, magazine, newspaper, brochure, etc. You take a few moments to read and circle or box around words or phrases that stand out to you. You may repeat that step a few times further adding or eliminating words. When you’re satisfied with your word selection, then blackout all the other words. The circled words become a free-verse style poem. We were also shown examples where people used various art supplies from colored pencils, and crayons, to paint and some people would doodle or make art to go with their poems.

Blackout Time
While I was reflecting upon my mother, I chose to tap into my creative abilities rather than dwell on all the ugly relational events, hurts, and losses. I scanned a random page from a book off my shelves. Then attempted the poetry exercise from class with a focus on my mom. I was surprised at how it flowed and how fun this was. I chose to use colored pencils and draw a bit too after I found the words. Here’s my poem, “In Memory of Mom.”

In Memory of Mom

The King’s son came.
She would follow him,
with tears yielded.

The King said,
“Thou canst find mercy and
thou shalt have hope
thou dost not deserve.”

The King and his daughter
went away together
to the golden castle.

My blackout poem and art in memory of Mom.

While doing this, it became a therapeutic art form. The Holy Spirit ministered to me. He gave me a paper parable right before my eyes—a visual of God’s forgiveness in any life that is surrendered to Him. We are all flawed1 with many sins represented by the blacked-out words. Yet, there is good in every person on planet Earth. The good is not of ourselves but we are created in the likeness and image of God2. With the touch of Adonai, our blacked-out sins will be transformed into a thing of beauty and inspiration3.

Scripture Notations:
1. Romans 3:23
2. Genesis 1:26-27
3. Ephesians 4:22-24

I randomly opened this old book and scanned the first full page of text I set my eyes upon.

“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses” (Matthew 6:14-15, CSB).

This book was passed down to me by my grandmother making this project more special. She was born in 1908.

Dear Reader, is there anyone you need to forgive? If so, you may want to do a little art therapy to move along the process of forgiveness and healing.

Dear Father God, thank you for giving me physical life through my mother. Thank you, for teaching and demonstrating the power of forgiveness, through Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me to surrender everything to the Father and to trust His perfect plan. Amen.

Author Bio
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.

Would you like to know more about the afterlife and how you can be assured of eternity in Heaven? Check the Questions page.

Check the Free Gifts page for downloadable/printable study guides and resources.

Copyright © 2020-2023 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.

All photos by Manette Kay.

Published by musingsofmanettekay

Sharing bits of memoir in the format of devotionals, prayers, short stories, and occasionally a poem.

26 thoughts on “Blackout Forgiveness

  1. What a lovely creative way to work out one’s spiritual walk Manette. Forgiveness is imperative to our wellbeing in His family, it took me a while in my earlier journey to realise how much I needed to apply it. What a difference it made in me! God bless you today sister 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy! You scared me at first. I started reading with an anxious spirit. Has Manette lost faith? Is she so discouraged that she’s hanging it all up? But it turned our great! It just goes to show that God has His special ways to bring something new to us that encourages and keeps us moving forward. Great post!!! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was an exercise in which God stretched my writing and creativity. I find He’s doing that more and more with me. The process is usually humbling. But He is so good to me. I apologize if your heart skipped a beat but not for grabbing your attention. Thanks for reading to the end! Jehovah bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember my son having an assignment in English which involved blackout poetry. He enjoyed it and I thought it was fun. But I have not actually tried it out myself. This seemed like a fun way to process your thoughts and emotions – as you called it art therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was for me. I’d already forgiven my mom. There are situations and/or people that we may find the need to repeatedly forgive. We get it settled and something new arises (not a new offense) more like a fresh memory of something or emotion triggered and we carry it to Christ again saying, “Please take this,” so we don’t become weighed down or defile the temple.

      I’m glad you and your son have had a little fun with it, Manu. Jehovah bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can understand something new arising and taking it to the Lord. When I feel that happening I always think, I thought I dealt with that, why am I feeling this way. And the best thing to do is take into God.
        Blessings to you too Manette.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. True, it is liberating and it’s not as though I hadn’t forgiven my mom. Yet, there are situations or certain persons that we must bear forgiving again and again. We get through it and then something new surfaces or is triggered and we need to repeat forgiveness. Thanks fore reading and commenting. Jehovah bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Manette, this post touched my heart deeply, with tears coming to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story. Such a powerful message! I’ve read your bio recently, and I must tell you that on this past Mother’s Day I had you on my mind and heart. You were in my prayers. Blessings on your day, Manette. God is using you in a big way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is powerful, dear Manette. Thank you for sharing it with us. My daughter taught me about this poetry form and showed me one that she did.

    God’s forgiveness is free and forgiving others sets us free too. They’re definitely a set. I’m grateful He helps us with all aspects of it. He’s so good to us.

    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Google the term or #BlackoutPoetry and you can see numerous images of the form. There are many creative people who do this.

      Some people pick up cheap books from garage sales or thrift shops and have created full books of poetry. It’s a good way to repurpose any book that holds no value to you. I chose to scan the page because of the sentimental value of the book belonging to my grandmother. But in so doing, I found the pages are very fragile due to age. I may want to scan more of them just for preservation’s sake.


  6. Manette, I love that you and your granddaughter embarked on this creative, poetic adventure together. The poem you shared is beautiful but equally so is the art you created around it. I’ve been looking for a good writing activity for my girls to do to wrap up the school year and I think this will be a great fit. We’ll all embark on the experience together. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Beth, I’m delighted that sharing this has sparked an idea for you. I think it would be a great year-end project.

      Google it and you can get a lot of inspiration and ideas as you peruse through images.

      The exercise causes the brain to “think outside the box.” As you read the text your not reading it for content or cognition as we are so accustomed to. In the class we were given only 10 minutes and I thought, “no way.” That seemed an appropriate time for discovering the poem or beginnings of it. There are no time constraints but in the class setting we had a limit.

      Jehovah bless your efforts with a fruitful reward.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a powerful poem and a therapeutic way to get there! You seem to be an extremely purposeful person, Manette Kay–you have a good reason for everything you do. Thank you for letting your readers look in on a bit of your own healing journey. I am inspired to try some black out poetry for myself! Great post. God’s best to you always.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, David, I appreciate your encouragement. I hope to be purposeful through Christ. I’m a lump of clay that Jehovah shapes and uses as He sees fit. Regarding the peek into my healing journey, I share for the glory of Christ trusting Him to touch another in need as I’ve been touched and inspired by other people’s stories.

      With your skill and love of Haiku, I believe you may enjoy this form too. Blessings–have fun and be inspired by our Lord and King.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. MK, I really appreciate your words about forgiveness–especially since I have struggled with it. Although much further along the road than I was in my early Christian walk, it still doesn’t come easily for me. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keith, thank you for reading and sharing yourself. I’m not certain forgiveness comes “easy” for any of us due to our sinful nature but with God it’s possible. We are all a work in process until we meet our Redeemer face-to-face. Praise God you’re not where you once were. There is growth when you say you’re, “much further along . . .” We must continue to trust our LORD and ask Him to do in us what we cannot do for ourselves. Jehovah bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

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