First posted on middleeastnews.org.uk, a blog contributed to by westerners commentating on living life in the Middle East. Follow their blog for interesting stories, poetry, recipes and applied theology.
There are many times when we have heard devastating stories from people’s lives. I have been learning how to respond with love, faith, empathy and compassion. Writing poems helps me to reflect on these times and bring these situations to the One we hope in.
I don’t know what you’ve seen with your eyes
touched with your hand
felt with your soul
I don’t know of the pain, heartache and grief that surrounds you
You look at me
eyes brimming with tears
desperate and searching
the words of your trauma just roll off your tongue
and hit me
Is it consolation you want?
a way out?
I can’t do it habeebti, my love.
I’m as helpless as you
I can give you some “majaamale” some niceties
A smile, a touch
But they will just fall empty
into the chasm
the ache in your soul
like a black hole
a bottomless pit
it goes on and on
You talk of great trauma
and your eyes, your eyes
those deep wells
My words are empty
Like leaves in the dead of autumn
But then I turn my ear
I listen to the one who speaks life
Who breathes life and makes new
Whose voice is the sound of rushing waters
Whose words fall and remain and soothe
that penetrate the darkness
The words that bind wounds and bring life
The words that drip in healing oil
That fill the chasm
That dry the tears
The words that penetrate the darkness
Gentle whispers that bring forth galaxies
words of truth that weave new garments
I remember and listen
I speak His words
and there is hope.