hope Other Writings Poetry

Never really alone


So in the room called Remember it is possible to find peace – the peace that comes from looking back and remembering to remember that though most of the time we failed to see it, we were never really alone.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”


The voice didn’t say
You are utterly alone:
I would have heard the lie for what it was.

No, it said
You will always feel this alone;
You will always be misunderstood;
You will never have what you are longing for.
All is dark and there is no remedy.

And so, I felt that alone,
that misunderstood;
I felt the aching longing,
the hopelessness.
I felt the desolation of that voice.
I felt it as long as I listened,
many years.

“Show us a sign,” the people said.
“What sign shall I give to a people who don’t listen?” he said,
“There are signs all around you.
Wake up, pay attention, and see.
I am at hand, right here with you.”

The children could see –
the mouths of babes proclaimed it,
and still do.

What woke me from the desolating dream?
Grace, I’m sure;
the nearness of children;
the weariness of being weary;
giving up on giving up;
becoming aware the voice was just a voice;

Reaching out to touch the hem of His garment –
if I just touch it, I will be healed.


Copyright © 2019,

2 replies on “Never really alone”

Inspiring. Humbling. Beautiful, DW.

I too have felt despair that brought me to my knees. There were voices then, even from people that I love, telling me, “See. I told you so. Your faith is misplaced. Look at the suffering. Surely a just and loving God would not allow it.”

I was at my weakest then. My mother, a loving, faithful Christian and a beautiful woman physically, had suffered much in her life.

Poverty, as a child. A stillborn child. A dishonest, unfaithful husband–my father–whom she divorced when my brother and I were very young. A life of hard work and bouts of reoccurring cancer. Still she had lived life with gusto.

Amidst the chorus of voices I watched as she lay suffering, moaning and crying. And she never cried.

I asked the Lord, “Why must you take her like this? Why can’t you let her go in peace?”

I was distraught. Angry. Bitterness swelled inside me. I was beaten.

Then I remembered the happy times, the times the Lord had carried us, when I had seen proof of it, when it was the only explanation. I told the Lord, “I do not understand. I will never understand. Even so, I will stay. I have no place else to go.” Then my mother went to sleep. The sun came up as she breathed her last.

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Watching your mother suffer, interceding for her, seeing her be released, peacefully, the night behind and day dawning. Life altering experience. Thank you for sharing that with me. It brings up for me profound experiences in my past. Thank you 🙏

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