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Remembering 1994

2015 November 21
by Mike

We always pause on November 21 to remember. This is a poem by Wendell Berry, written, ironically (for me), in 1994.

A man is lying on a bed
in a small room in the dark.
Weary and afraid, he prays
for courage to sleep, to wake
and work again; he doubts
that waking when he wakes
will recompense his sleep.
His prayers lean upward
on the dark and fall
like flares from a catastrophe.
He is a man breathing the fear
of hopeless prayer, prayed
in hope. He breathes the prayer
of his fear that gives a light
by which he sees only himself lying
in the dark, a low mound asking
almost nothing at all.
And then, long yet before dawn,
comes what he had not thought:
love that causes him to stir
like the dead in the grave, being
remembered—his own love or
Heaven’s, he does not know.
But now it is all around him;
it comes down upon him
like a summer rain falling
slowly, quietly in the dark.

– from This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Anne Cope permalink
    November 21, 2015

    Ah yes. Again – and again. Thank you, Lord, for giving us strength each time – and now the ability to look ahead – again.

  2. John Pounders permalink
    November 21, 2015

    Powerful words, Mike. Prayers for you, Ms. Diane, and the whole family today.

  3. November 22, 2015

    “He is a man breathing the fear
    of hopeless prayer, prayed
    in hope. He breathes the prayer
    of his fear that gives a light
    by which he sees only himself lying
    in the dark, a low mound asking
    almost nothing at all.” Mike, yes. So thankful for where the pain goes and what God does with it (in the continuum) in you, your family’s life.

    ” For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” ~ Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”

  4. Darryl Tippens permalink
    November 24, 2015

    That poem is a fine version of one of the truest prayers ever prayed, “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.”

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