Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beautiful Grief (Part II)

I shouldn't be surprised when so many of you say you know this heaviness. There shouldn't be that spark of suddenly, finally, feeling known. It should be clear to me by now that this is the condition of humanity. This pain is as real as sun on our cheeks, as real as moonlight filtering low through a December night.

So why do we let ourselves feel alone? Why do we lie and say no one would understand when really, really, we all do?

It's Christmas and we were not made for this world. We weren't made for the lights or the crack bark or the horse ribbon tree. Those things can't complete us, perfect us, transform us into people with lives that never bend at unnatural angles.

Here we are, down on uneven dirt, clawing for a glimpse of glory through a broken pane.

Just like that, we find one. We look past the cracks and the smudges and we see the baby face of freedom. We memorize Him, love Him, pray to want more of Him.

We're captivated only by Him.

His light falls around us, reflects off of us, and we reach out and grab hold of it like a hand.

This is why the days feel dark when the rest of the world says they shouldn't. We're homesick. We know a shoddy replacement when we see one.

Turn to the side and catch His light. Turn to the side and reflect His light onto someone hiding heart-shattered in the shadows.

This is the reason for the season.

The rest is just decoration.

all the times i tried
all the times we cried
all the times i laid bare everything i had inside
all the times love scared you off you ran away to hide
couldnt break away from fear couldnt crush your pride
I cant bare to face the fact that my

best friend has died
people stop to tell me i'll see you on the other side
that doesnt stop the bleeding of my tear stained eyes
in the end i guess it really comes as no surprise
this world is full of loss and grey clouds in the skies
trying to sift out truth from all the lies
thoughts of hopelesness say theres nothing left in life
my ticket isnt up yet so i know i will survive
sitting down and looking up hoping my time flies
- Jesse B, 2012

We stood at the edge of the world for an hour,
roaring and crying out louder than the waves.
We shouted and sobbed,
pummeling Heaven's door with our questions and anger.

The prayers of the saints
were hands holding us up against this broken life,
though we couldn't see them at the time.
The wild rebellion is all around us,
but I've been told there's hope as well.

Lord God, amid this burning wreckage of a world,
soothe our mangled hearts with a word of life.
What balm is there to heal this wound?
Only God knows.

And the waves and rain kept coming as we stood,
graciously accepting our screams and pulling them out to sea.
What hope there is for us
rests in God's hands, and in knowing
that this bloodied life is temporary,
but the paradise of heaven is eternal.
- Shoshana L, 2012

*Both of the above poems were written this month by people whom I love. Shoshana and Jesse tragically lost their brother just one month ago. I have watched in awe as they have spun redemptive, truthful, piercing, raw beauty from their battered hearts. Every day, they lift one another up and through puffy eyes, remind eachother of all of the truths that won't ever change, even when nothing makes sense anymore. It is with their permission that I share their tear-soaked art. We hope someone out there feels just a little less alone tonight.