I never knew, how my hopes grew,
so silently they spread.
Like ivy leaves on chimney wall
they grew inside my head.
Until the bitter breezes blew,
and left them all for dead.
I felt them shrivel up and fall,
and it was then I knew,
that down inside my hopes had died,
and they were mine
Whole fleets of expectations, like hungry merchant ships, had sailed into my harbor heart, and docked among the slips. They'd tied themselves with sailor's art to wait their promised store. And when, with hulls still empty, they were ordered to depart, they rose in bloody mutiny and stormed upon the shore.
Oh how they wailed, and loud their cries for longings unfulfilled, as vacant satisfaction's lies slipped through their hands like desert sands, to lie upon the floor.
Delib'rately I turn my eyes away from where lament was spent, and to the place my certain home lies high above the skies, where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves can steal no more.
The kingdom of the Righteous One, whose lips can form no lies, prepares for me a mansion, grand, and beckons me with outstretched hand up where ev'ry shattered hope becomes a bright kaleidoscope, there stands, for me, an open door.
“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 3, Verse 8
I remember the simple joy of having a meal at a restaurant with my wife. It is a pleasure I last enjoyed 9 years ago and in all likelihood will never know again this side of eternity. And so many other things – driving a car, walking in a park, going to stores, traveling to visit loved ones, and countless other little things are now big things, since I have lost them all.
And there is so much I had grown to expect, without ever giving the expectations a second thought, because they were so, well, ordinary. Now I see them at every turn – on social media, the internet, etc., and have to resist the tendency to say to myself, “you will never be able to…” and lapse into self-pity – perhaps the deadliest and most prevalent of sins.
It is only right and proper to grieve our losses, and to mourn over that which once was, and is no more. We must do so if we are ever to continue to truly live, lest we fall into bitterness and our life fall into decay, and our soul fall into ruin. Yet, at some point, a point unique to each person and each loss, we must make the deliberate effort to pivot from our grieving and our mourning and to begin to look forward to the hopes that yet may be. Thus is born the poetry of “lament.”
It has taken me many years to be able to write this lament for the life that I lost (and the better part of a year to publish it), and I don’t suppose I will ever be “over it,” and I know that from time to time I will be revisiting the harbor of my former hopes, but by the Lord’s grace I have begun to accept and to look beyond, and my eye has been refined to look for the eternal, even among the temporal, for it is only the eternal which will endure.
Dear reader, perhaps you have suffered your own losses, losses which are too hard to bear. Please know that you are not alone in this, and there is One who understands better than anyone else, and who calls you to come to Him for comfort, for forgiveness, for hope everlasting, and for life eternal. His name is Jesus Christ – “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He is the Son of God. His kingdom is a kingdom of righteousness, where grief and death will have no quarter. He took your sins upon himself, died, and rose again that you might come to him. He’s calling your name.
© Craig Sabin 2020 All rights reserved