A Prayer of Sadness, and of Joy: Spring 2020
by Mark Bennett, member of the National Forest East Circuit
I want to take you by the hands, but I shall not.
I need to cool your fevered brow, but I must not.
I long to hug you, hold you close, as tightly as can be, but I may not.
I crave to look into your eyes; to whisper tragic, sad goodbyes, but I dare not.
I wish to touch your hand, to hold you close, to look into your face, and tell you everything will be all right, but I cannot.
I cannot touch/hold/look, much to our uniting loss, but for the greater good,
And cannot promise everything will end in joy,
For you and I both know that it will not, for some; for many – even all.
So, in this void, this hateful nothingness of waste and tears,
What can I do; for you?
Well, I can say – with all my heart – the Father holds your hands.
That He will cool your burning brow, and gently calm your soul.
I tell you, too, that even though we cannot touch on earth,
His wondrous love extends beyond the rules of boundary;
That He surrounds you with His arms; protecting, loving – safe and sure.
And I can promise that, although I cannot smile, and weep, and look into your eyes – and say goodbye,
Our God says not ‘farewell’, but ‘hail’, and welcomes you into the place so long prepared.
For He, the one who gives us life – and sometime calls us home, can say, indeed, that all is well,
And will forever be because you are His child.
This time will end; the storm will pass,
So, though I cannot touch you, feel you, see you for myself,
I am assured that you are safe within the arms of God.
This is the only thing I have which I can do for you:
To praise and thank Him for your life, and ask His blessing on your soul,
And take my comfort from the fact that you and I believe, with all our hearts,
That it is so.
(Used with permission)