And what if I spoke of despair—who doesn’t feel it?
Who doesn’t know the way it seizes,
leaving us limp, deafened by the slosh
of our own blood, rushing
through the narrow, personal
channels of grief.
It’s beauty that brings it on,
calls it out from the wings for one more song.
Rain pooled on a fallen oak leaf,
reflecting the pale cloudy sky, dark canopy of foliage not yet fallen.
Or the red moon in September, so large you have to pull over at the top of Bayona and stare,
like a photo of a lover in his uniform,
not yet gone;
or your own self, as a child,
on that day your family stayed at the sea,
watching the sun drift down,
lazy as a beach ball, and you fell asleep with sand
in the crack of your smooth behind.
That’s when you can’t deny it.
They’re still here, like a mother’s palms,
sweeping hair off our brow, her scent
swirling around us.
But now your own car is pumping poison,
delivering its fair share of destruction.
We’ve created a salmon with the red, white, and blue shining on one side.
Frog genes spliced into tomatoes—
as if the tomato hasn’t been humiliated enough.
I heard a man argue that genetic engineering was more dangerous
than a nuclear bomb.
Should I be thankful he was alarmed by one threat, or worried he’d gotten used to the other?
Maybe I can’t offer you any more than you can offer me—
but what if I stopped on the trail, with shreds of manzanita bark lying in russet scrolls and yellow bay leaves,
little lanterns in the dim afternoon, and cradled despair in my arms,
the way I held my own babies after they’d fallen asleep,
when there was no reason to hold them,
only I didn’t want to put them down.
During natural disasters two enemy animals
will call a truce, so during a hurricane
an owl will share a tree with a mouse
and, during an earthquake, you might find
a mongoose wilted and shivering
beside a snake. The bear will sit down
in a river and ignore the passing salmon
just as the lion will allow the zebra
to walk home without comment.
I love that there are exceptions.
At funerals and weddings, for example,
the aunts who never speak nod
politely to one another. When my mother
was sick even the prickly neighbors
left flowers and cakes at our door.
Natural Disasters by Faith Shearin
The terrible danger isn’t so much not believing in God — but believing in terrible things about God.
Jordyn Grace clung to her mama while the waters rose in Houston, while they were swept away in a parking lot, swept down a swirling canal, swept into the monstrous terror of Harvey.
Jordyn Grace’s mama never let go of her 3-year-old baby with her pink backpack still strapped on, though her own spirit left her, rising, rising higher than the floodwaters.
When they found shivering Jordyn Grace bobbing on the waters, held by her lifeless mama, she whispered, “Mama was saying her prayers.”
What if we saw that God answered every one of our prayers by giving us more of Himself?
What if suffering didn’t leave us questioning God — but left us seeing that God is always the answer?
Read Ann’s full amazing blog here!
the darkness has no answers.
silence is just silence.
fall, and the world laughs at you
there you lay alone on the broken sidewalk
scared to move into the jagged spaces where life grows in-spite of the hardships
there is no safe space to sit and adjust to the dark night.
as life, the sacred gift, blurs
having lost our way and, in certain moments, even our hope,
this wearying illusion,
waiting to be shattered by the screams of the raging
oh my love, do not despair
this too shall pass
the sun will shine again
sleep for a moment
hearts, still beating, even though out of time
breathe in breathe out
the world keeps turning on
just for you
just for me
keep walking towards the Western sun setting, there is always a new beginning