Friday, March 05, 2010

Poetry Friday: Tears

While I'm not crying all the time like I was when I first got to the States from Haiti, I do still have times when I am overwhelmed with grief and start to cry - and then have a lot of trouble stopping. Psalm 56 says that God puts our tears in a bottle, and Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) quotes that in the poem below. The image is one of love and concern, and a God who cares about the things that grieve us.

A friend who was also in the earthquake and suffered much more than I did (she lost her home and all her possessions and was also physically injured) said that she hasn't cried yet. She said I needed to teach her to cry. I am certainly very good at crying; that is, I do a lot of it. If only it were a useful skill. And yet, surely God isn't saving my tears in a bottle for nothing. Anne Bradstreet wrote, "In vain I did not seek or cry." I hope the same is true for me, that my tears are not in vain, and that somehow God will bring good from them.

By Night when Others Soundly Slept

by Anne Bradstreet
By night when others soundly slept
And hath at once both ease and Rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought him whom my Soul did Love,
With tears I sought him earnestly.
He bow’d his ear down from Above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry Soul he fill’d with Good;
He in his Bottle put my tears,
My smarting wounds washt in his blood,
And banisht thence my Doubts and fears.

What to my Saviour shall I give
Who freely hath done this for me?
I’ll serve him here whilst I shall live
And Loue him to Eternity.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

I find this very comforting. God bless you and continue to comfort you...

Sherry said...

I'd love to invite you and your readers to join my poetry survey. I'm looking for your 10 favorite classic poems. Read more about it here.

laurasalas said...

Tears and poems--two of the best ways to handle stress/grief! Hugs to you and your friend.

Jessica said...

I haven't been to your blog in a while and finally got to catch-up on what I've missed tonight . . . oh my goodness, your blog is rich. I am so glad you are sharing what you are thinking and feeling as you make your way through this . . . I am so moved by what I have read here tonight.