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)