interlinked: how mourning and joy are closer than we think

interlinked - how mourning and joy are closer than we think - girl dancing in sunlight @poetryjoy.com

“For everything there is a season. . . . a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” — Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NRSV

Interlinked

We mourn,
thinking we might never
rediscover joy, never
laugh or dance again,

but we are wrong
because they are all
interlinked, entwined

parts of one another,
shared segments
of our soul’s deepest needs.

While we weep
we also prepare
to dance, to feast,

although it doesn’t
necessarily cross our minds
that one could follow on,
like day follows night,

or be the shadow of the other
as we try to hold these
disparate thoughts together.

Even here,
even now, when grief needs
closure, there are glimmers,

conjoined glimpses of hope
which support and enable
us to look up,

to go on with courage,
because a slight lifting
of lockdown might signal
a slow return to peace.
(C) joylenton

interlinked - woman watching the waves - poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Once we return to a semblance of normality in our nations, our “ordinary” might feel scarily different but it will have a fresh lustre and glow of grace about it too. Because we are limited in what we can do now, we appreciate the joyful, sacrosanct and sacred moments that exist and long to keep them fixed in our hearts.

“Mourning and dancing, grief and laughter, sadness and gladness—they belong together as the sad-faced clown and the happy-faced clown, who make us both cry and laugh. Let’s trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other.” — Henri Nouwen, in Faith That Matters: 365 Devotions from Classic Christian Leaders

Maybe we will dance in our hearts or gardens, if not in the streets. Like a butterfly being joyfully released to fly freely, instead of being restrained and shut away, confined to a limited environment, mourning the freedom it has lost.

A lingering sadness and wariness will exist because so much has changed, so many lives have been cut painfully short, so many of us are in a prolonged recovery mode. We will need faith and trust to carry us through the days of difference that lie ahead.

“I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33 TLB

Where are you seeing glimpses of joy during these unsettled times? What makes your heart sing or helps keep you comforted and calm? 🙂 ❤

Courage to break free

Brave PJ poem file image

‘Brave’

She doesn’t feel brave at all.

It started with a tentative unpicking

Loosing a thread

Dropping a stitch

that spooled and pooled out

all the dirt, debris and detritus

of a life lived edged by despair

and heavy with deceit

Let it out, my friend.

Let it pour as tears

cascading as rivers down your face

Allow that searing wound to be pierced,

lanced with laser-light of Truth;

be exposed, raw, oozing its badness,

ready for cleansing and healing.

Let God’s healing balm bind up the pain

as more threads are snipped

and a life laid bare.

Unravelling of mind and heart

Whispers in the dark

Furtive fumbling

leaving muddy footprints

of fear, guilt and shame.

Be bold

Be brave, sweet sister.

Only in the letting go

can we be free

as chrysalis to butterfly,

become all He created us to be.

Become new

Washed in Blood

Washed in Light

Washed in Grace

Washed in Love.

You are brave

You are bold

You are beautiful

And you are being

set free

to be fully functioning

as you are intended to be.

©JoyLenton2015

Brave poem PJ file image pin