For the last few years, I’ve usually tried to pen one or more reflective poems during the Paschal season and share them with friends on Facebook. This year I found myself with little time to compose anything, as I spent the long weekend at an Easter Convention with Helen, where we shared with brothers and sisters from a range of church backgrounds about our plans to serve in Japan as missionaries.
However, only a few days after we commemorated Christ’s death and celebrated His resurrection, I found myself turning to poetry to express my feelings in the cruel face of death. The week following Easter, we lost a close family member suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a shocking intrusion into our lives and was a very surreal experience to have, when the glories of the resurrection were so freshly in our hearts and minds. It will be a long and hard journey forward for us from this time on, but we have been helped greatly by the Spirit of God at work through God’s people – reminding us of the truths we need to hold onto during this dark time.
It’s the second time in less than 12 months that death has taken away one of our close relatives. This time around I am thankful that on this occasion I have more solid grounds for confidence that this particular harsh assault of death will soon be undone by the power of Christ’s resurrection. And so this poem, though less specific to the events of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection than usual, has become my out-of-time reflection on death and resurrection life for this year.
FROM DEATH TO LIFE
When the darkness covers light
When the day is lost to night
When all the world’s cruelty seems to unite
Where may we find some deep respite?
When joy is sudd’nly gone
When life is brut’lly torn
When all have stopped to weep and mourn
Shall midnight ever yield to dawn?
When a beloved one is taken
When our world is pierced and shaken
When we hold onto the vain hope that we still might be mistaken
How can we know we’re not forsaken?
When we’ve blackest grief to bear
When gloom clouds the very air
When we offer each and every feeble prayer
Will you let us know that you are there?
When we face the road ahead
When it’s harder now to tread
When we may wish it was another person walking it instead
Can we look to one who’s risen from the dead?
Yes! When flowers bloom again
When there’s no more tears and pain
When the star of life grows bright until it ne’er more shall wane
Then we’ll see we haven’t hoped in vain
When the dead in Christ shall rise
When they fill azure skies
When an endless, glorious joy our King supplies
We’ll see her smile, through brand new eyes