I was glancing through my poems and thought that this one was appropriate for the Coronavirus Times. These are days of mystery. We will tend to ask God questions and some prayers might not find the answers we hope for.
This poem was written from a pastor's perspective, watching members of Fitzroy watch loved ones in difficult times.
The last verse is Philip Yancey's take on Isaiah 40:31:
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Yancey points out that this is in reverse. Flying, running and finally walking. He suggests that the spiritual life starts with us believing we can fly. Everything is possible. Then we land we a thud when some prayer is not answered as we think it should have been. We are still running but soon life's tragedies have us down to a walk.
Yancey concludes that the mature among us are not the flyers but the realists. Even strong faith in the midst of life's tough times can be a trudge and a crawl. Perhaps we need to reassess why in that verse we always concentrate on the first not the third stage?!
Mystery is an awkward little dancer.
When a loved one’s tossed in turbulence
You watch them smashed whichever way
And God never seems to bring the calm
No matter how hard you pray
May unseen threads of mercy
Weave in, the unravelling doubt
May God grab you by the finger
Before life’s hurting drags you out
Knowledge loves the questions
Cos it has a seamless answer
But mystery shimmies all around
She’s an awkward little dancer
And when she dances out of sight
Leaving the soul that lonely ache
May God send a holy comforter
Before you crack up in the heart break
Lord, we flew on wings like eagles
Then landed with reality’s thud
We ran but soon were walking
Now crawl through this tear soaked mud
We mature in a world that’s broken
Confessing what our part is
We sing these songs to temper grief
And hope in their catharsis.