The Territory of Our Bleeding

There's a lot of sadness in our faith community. I have a friend who is hurting beyond all words. A poem I wrote last night. A lament.

There is so much sadness
in the world.
And the edges of it
so icy and sharp--
the territory of our bleeding.
And there a numbness
too cold
for weeping.
But deep inside
the concavity of pain
there is a warmth--
the ache of love--
that thaws all loss
to the torrent and dew
of grief.

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10 thoughts on “The Territory of Our Bleeding”

  1. When a weary soul loses hope, maybe our presence with them in their pain, our solidarity with their suffering, is to embody faith, hope, and love.  Praying for your grieving friends and for you to be a faithful presence for them.

  2. Richard,

    Thanks.  Just returned from my baby brother's funeral.  The ache of love is a very present help.


  3. We feel your pain, George, though dimly.  May Christ come to you and those you love this Christmas.

    'A still, pale joy will through the darkness go,
    At thought of lying in those arms again,
    Which one were heaven enough for any pain.'

    (George Macdonald: Diary of an Old Soul)

  4. George,

    I am so sorry to learn about your brother. I always read your comments on this blog with respect and interest.

  5. Kathleen and I have just send FOUR sympathy cards today to local friends who have lost loved ones. Your poem is timely for us and also for so many who ironically hurt the most during this season.

  6. To those who have responded to me with sympathy, I want to thank you.  Lest I leave the impression otherwise, my "baby" brother Steve was sixty-six.  He had had Altzheimer's for nearly a decade, but because he was always active and attended to his diet, he began declining physically only last October.  For the past five years, we communicated with him like we were playing charades--and he seemed to love the new game.  His death came as a surprise but it was not shocking.  His dear wife and all of us have been grieving for a while because his joyful personality had been eroding slowly at the edges and then about three months ago began crumbling at its core. We have blessed memories because he allowed God's presence to shine through his life in whatever he said and did.  By what he said and did, he caused everyone around him to want to be better--always smiling impishly and teasing out of our hearts our better angels.  The family now smiles through its tears and grieves not as those who have no hope.  He now stands beside Abraham in the midst of that great cloud of witnesses.

    Blessings!  Christmas is coming!

  7. I know I keep plugging British media at the moment, but I've been gradually falling in love with the sitcom 'Rev.' over the past few weeks.  Last night, the Christmas special was aired.  It's about the best portrayal of Christmas I've ever seen.  The final shot is spine-tinglingly brilliant.  Warm yourself a couple of mince pies - make a pot of coffee - put your feet up and treat yourself...

    You can watch it at:  It lasts for 30 minutes.  Ideally, watch the first six episodes first!

    (P.S.  Yes, it is relevant (indirectly) to this post, in case you were wondering)

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