[Poetry] Pain

When nothing is felt but pain
When the heart feels heavy and sore
Hope dies, withers, like ash in a fire.

Trust should be strong, an oak not a bush.
But we can’t help but hope and expect.
When expectations fail and hope is destroyed
Then trust is shaken –
Will it topple, or stand strong?

Is it unfair to hope?
Expectations can be unreal.
But pain, pain is never expected.
And when prolonged, the spirit dies.
It dries up, shrivels, husk-like and empty.

We are called to:
Taste and see that the Lord is good!
Trust in the Lord, with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding
Rejoice in the Lord always,
And again I say rejoice!

Yet the tears still fall.
Why, Oh Lord? Why the pain?
Call me Mara! Bitter! Mara!
When, Oh Lord, will the pain pass?
Why must it be so difficult, Abba?

Did we forget the Lord as the tears fall?
Do we hate the Lord,
Do we love ourselves more?
The pain so strong,
A burning core, a solid stone.
It overwhelms, threatens to swallow and consume.

Yet in the storm, the cross.
To cling to, to look at, to anchor.
The broken body, yet risen.
The bloodied, yet triumphant.
The weeping, that becomes a feast to come.
The cross, the Christ, the risen Lord!

If God loves us, why this pain?
Yet the cross is real,
His death is real,
He is risen.
He went through the same pain.
Rejection, betrayal.
Torture and torment.
Humiliation beyond measure.

Why do we think He doesn’t understand?
Why do we look for relief elsewhere?
Why do we act, like He’s not enough?
Why do we look away?

The cross, the cross, the terrible cross.
The risen Lamb on His throne.
Our pain, our tears, our furrowed brows.
His mercy, His grace, His love.

Sing to the Lord in the midst of our tears.
Look to the cross and His throne.
Pain is real, and others may judge.
But His words are a balm and sufficient.

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
I will be with you till the end of time.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living;
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!


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