Peace, Not Alone

I hear the cries and I feel the hurt,
But I yearn to leave it. 
I seek instead the warmth and embrace of Jesus,
Friend and guide, fisherman, healer, guide.
When I leave this world in prayer, and open,
There is peace there, and love and bright sunshine.
Let me stay there!
I am comforted and healed there.
But for now, I am sent back.
Sent back?

The world seems to me so broken these days.
But there are many I love so much in their brokenness—
Despite their brokenness—
Because they accept me too in my brokenness?
I need to be with them, to walk with them—
Not to do for them or to them—
But to be with them, to
Brush away their loneliness.
I brush their hairs gently, fingers crooked;
I look into deep eyes, joined with them.

The greatest poverty is to feel alone, to be
Alone, and to feel no human touch, to hear no voice.
Divine voice fills me up, and
Earthly voices love me too. I am blessed.
But I know ones who are alone each day,
Who hear only demons.
I am blessed to be blessed by the Spirit,
To be blessed with family and friends too.
Still I grieve.
For I know too many alone—In His image, but still alone.

I remember voices from my youth,
Some gone now, some sliced apart by war,
Some sliced apart by violence at home,
Some cast down, alone, by disease and anguish.
I know strapping boys who took their lives, and
Mothers who took their lives, too alone to continue.
I recall friends and brothers, separated from God’s peace.
I know hollow eyes—eyes revealing they are alone still.
Yet I am blessed.
I am blessed in beloved community, blessed in tender family.

On the busses, I see souls alone, still voices unheard.
On the benches, I feel spirits shaken, mothers lost.
In soup kitchens, I hear voices soft, some hardened,
Beautiful people left alone, demons still with them.
In libraries blessed with art and words,
These days there are those alone, lost, with no hope.
These days there are precious souls afraid, joyless.
These days I seek to bless my friends, to
Walk with those who hope to be fed.
These days I am blessed, and still I question.
I know those souls who seek to be fed.

I hear the cries and I feel the hurt,
These days, deep in my Church, I hear cries.
Around my Church these days, I notice wretched sobs,
And I cry with them, afraid they may become alone.
I fear for those alone, and I fear especially for
Those in pain, for those who have anger for sisters,
For those who speak fiercely of brothers.
I know that I have been blessed here.
I know this sanctuary where I was blessed.
I pray to the Holy One: Bless this home.
Bless those who worship in this place. Bless us here, never alone.

(c) Tom Bolton, April 22, 2012, West Allis, WI


About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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One Response to Peace

  1. This is an awesome poem, Tom. I too, have heard the cries and feel the hurt.
    Thanks so much for sharing. God blesses.

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