Friday, December 16, 2011

Pearls of Pain

I've been working on a post on brokenness and creativity- on the part grief & loss plays on our ability to tell Stories... but... it will have to wait.  My sister called, and two hours later, I'm even more tired than I was before (though I have even more to think about- sisters are good for that). =D  A line from a poem I'd written in college kept coming back to me, about how Jesus gathered up every broken bit of bread after He'd fed the 5000.  Such a picture of our Lord's intentionality in breaking:  He never breaks needlessly or wastefully.  Anyway, I dug through my old journals & found this in #30.  It was written as I watched a close friend allow her suffering & pain to pull her inward instead of outward, forfeiting the blessings she could both have and be.  It's not the greatest poem I've ever written by any stretch, but here it is. The imagery of pain as a pearl isn't all that bad-- pearls are formed through irritation, through pain-- and they benefit no one if kept within.  Best of all, though, is the idea that in our pain, we meet Him.  As Ben Patterson put it, "He is the treasure to be found in all that hurts us."  (Waiting)  A treasure meant not only for us, but for us to share.

"A Precious Pearl"

We sat and watched the falling rain
You near to me,
Yet sealed so tight--
Curled up around your pearl of pain.

Do you know my tears can fall?
That I cry out
And wrestle doubt,
Watching you weep there, in your wall?

You know it's precious in His sight?
A death, a cross,
A fruitful loss--
That pain that curls you up so tight.

I think of bread, by Galilee...
He never wastes
A thing He breaks,
But gathers it to useful be.

I think of Acts, how He decreed
His glorious Name
And Bride's delight
As end of every holy deed.

As left Hand takes, His right one gives,
His promise stands:
The one with Christ,
Though he have naught, yet full he lives.

A pearl of pain, of loss, of shame
So costly, so
Yet priceless, meant His grace to frame.

written June 20, 2005

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