a poem: counting colored crimson
christian poems when people hurt you

What they don't tell you about being married for more than three years: You do still find out new things about each other.

For example, I never knew my husband could write poetry - until he went and did just that.

I am particularly struck by how vividly he portrayed Jesus' crucifixion through the use of numbers. And while said numbers demonstrate a record of the pain and suffering Jesus bore on our behalf, it's also a subtle dig at our desire to list out and remember the wrongs someone has committed against us.

Other number-related details he weaved into the poem: the "X" in the title is the Roman numeral for the number 10 and can also symbolise the cross, while the phrase "count to 10", which is frequently used as a way to diffuse anger, is also referenced.

If you have been hurt or betrayed by someone close to you, or if you're in the midst of an emotional turmoil no one else knows about - may these words be like healing balm unto your wounds, and may they remind you that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).


X: Counting Colored Crimson

by Victor Chua


Shalom dear friend this greeting I bring

Amidst your hurt your suffering

I prayed a while, burdens too thick

Thoughts then turned to His arithmetic

When livid one should count to ten

Might seething soul be stilled by then

Better yet one should in red number

In memory of our Lord's chosen color


One - the kiss a betrayer used

Two - pieces of wood together fused

Three - disavowals till rooster screeched

Four - who judged the Judge but over-reached

Five - iron points His firm flesh tore

Six - painful hours for us He bore

Seven - things He said while still fixed there

Eight - days Tom doubted till finger found air

Nine - the hour he breathed his last

Ten - friends fled who should've stood fast


Transgressions far too many to count

In red reduced by entire amount

Forgive them Father they don't understand

To love was always His greatest command

I know the world counts in black and white

Dear friend I pray, come see the light

If you must please go ahead

Count them all, but count in red

Bible verses to live by

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
— Matthew 5:38-40 (ESV)
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
— 1 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
— Leviticus 19:18 (ESV)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
— Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
— Romans 12:19 (ESV)