The story of love gone sadly wrong
and the cruelty of the wounded;
the story of misguided innocence
and wrong roads eagerly taken;
the story of bitterness carefully hoarded
and an accountbook full of tears;
the story of pain uncomforted
and loneliness at the sticking place;
the story of grief unrequited
and the collapse of unrealized dreams;
the story of sanity stormed at the gate
and the sharp stab of personal betrayal.
Congregational life in all its sadness.
I hold these stories one by one.
gingerly wiping the tears,
and tucking in the edges,
assuring everyone that even their story
is bordered by your love.
The stories are not my own
but in midnight’s darkness they ache
like a phantom limb.
Can you gather this in your arms?
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my tears.
I want to sleep in your house forever.