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.


  1. I am praying for your friends and their loss. How tragic to lose someone you love during Christmas time.

  2. Thank you for sharing those lovely poems....I know how it prayers are with them

  3. amen amen. and praying for your dear friends xo

  4. I had similar feelings after my mom died when I was 19. :(

    It also is just plain hard living on this earth many is a shoddy temporary tent and on bad days, I have cursed this broken, moldy, rain soaked crap earth home!

    Prayers ro your sweet friends.

  5. Your post reminded me of this quote:

    You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. ~St. Augustine

    Peace to you.

    And I love your photo with its sparkle set against the bleakness.

  6. Beautiful words <3 Thank you for sharing them....thanking God that He has Jesse and Shoshana wrapped up in His ever loving arms!!

  7. So true. All of it. I think of C.S.Lewis saying that 'if we cannot find satisfaction on this earth it can only mean one thing - we are made for a different world' (paraphrase mine)
    As always, thank you for your words


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  9. Powerful words. So sorry for their loss. Grief really does knock you to your knees.h

  10. I'm so sorry for your friends and all the ones suffering through tragedy and loss right now. Knowing God is the anchor in the storm is what I cling to.

  11. I love it when you write that we are not made for this world. This post is full of moving words.

  12. Am praying for all those who lost their loved ones.

  13. These last two posts have been powerful reminders of the broken world we live in, and the amazing gift we have of hope, even in the midst of our mourning.
    Shannan, I so appreciate your honesty and heart provoking writing- thank you for sharing!

  14. Beautiful post. I too feel that pull - we are not Home yet. "The rest is just decoration. You say is perfectly.

    The poetry is beautiful, heart wrenching and hopeful. Praying for them...

  15. Shannan, you have spoken directly to my heart and my heartache. My suffering is small compared to some, but it is still suffering. Thank you for saying we are not made for this world.

  16. Beautiful tribute, simply no words to express how beautiful!

  17. I love these poems. They're simply beautiful. Give them beauty for ashes, Lord. And you say all of this so perfectly, FPFG. Somehow, if I hold really still and let the world whizz past, I feel such peace. And I know its Him. That light IS the reason...and its so good.

  18. All the pain and suffering and heartache is more than we all can hold. Thank God that He carries us! Clinging to Him and that saving Light.