Friday, April 14, 2017

A Good Friday Poem...for Parents

It's Good Friday today.  God's Friday.

And as so often happens on a Christian holiday/holy day, I search out poetry to help me sort my thoughts and feelings.  This year I stumbled upon this one here, posted by an author named Ellen Painter Dollar.  I don't know her or her work, but from a brief read of her biography, she's dealt with issues similar to those in my life: faith, disability and parenting.

In the past year the impact of this challenging combination on my life and the lives of my children has become ever more evident to me...and so this work by Wendell Berry speaks to my heart today.

I share it here for those Gentle Readers who might find solace and support in his words.

Easter cannot come without Good Friday.

The Way of Pain 
For parents, the only way
is hard. We who give life
give pain. There is no help.
Yet we who give pain
give love; by pain we learn
the extremity of love.
I read of Abraham’s sacrifice
the Voice required of him,
so that he led to the altar
and the knife his only son.
The beloved life was spared
that time, but not the pain.
It was the pain that was required.
I read of Christ crucified,
the only begotten Son
sacrificed to flesh and time
and all our woe. He died
and rose, but who does not tremble
for his pain, his loneliness,
and the darkness of the sixth hour?
Unless we grieve like Mary
at His grave, giving Him up
as lost, no Easter morning comes.
And then I slept, and dreamed
the life of my only son
was required of me, and I
must bring him to the edge
of pain, not knowing why.
I woke, and yet that pain
was true. It brought his life
to the full in me. I bore him
suffering, with love like the sun,
too bright, unsparing, whole.
                     - Wendell Berry

1 comment:

Jo Vandermey said...

With much love there is always pain. Our service tonight reminds of that love, trials and pain. No one said it would be easy...
Have a blessed Easter!