See You Later

Written in memory of Emily McElroy, 1938-2010
Friend, sister in Christ, and mentor.

Cancer. Believers gather- worship, sing, comfort.
Prayers of strength and healing are lifted to heaven.
Kisses and hugs of hope are given before we part.
No goodbyes here– “See you later.”

Resting on the couch I stroke her thinning hair.
I whisper comfort to her when nausea overtakes.
Prayers of salvation and healing float on the air.
See you later.

Sunday morning worship- a church of just three.
Communion of saints in a granny’s sickbed.
Honesty, truth, and a newly bald head.
See you later.

Long conversations have now turned shorter.
Culminate with prayers of hope and thanks.
I rub her bald head before I walk out the door.
See you later.

I walk through the chapel, down the aisle alone.
The pews are filled with mourning friends.
Pausing at the front, I look upon her still form.
See you later.

The cemetery is cold in the heart of winter.
Fresh soil breaks the monotony of yellowed grass.
Standing in front of her name I repeat once more,
See you later.

Battling my Demons

From time to time, I’ll share some of my old poetry. For starters, here’s one I wrote while I was struggling with depression.

I lay here, on my face, in this deep dark place.
They whisper. The voices all around me,
Through me,
In my head.
“Worthless.” “Hopeless!” “Miserable and weak.”
My head sinks lower.
The ground is covered by the dew of my tears.
Darkness. The menacing blackness threatens to crush me in this, the night of my despair.
In the twilight, I feel a hand of mercy comfort and uplift.
I raise my eyes– I see the blood-stained hands.
Immanuel. God with us. God with me.
He has been in the dark lonely pit before,
And He is lifting my head– showing me the way out.

July 10, 2008