Gathering Together

I Understand



A mother sits alone,

staring blankly through a frosted window;

her eyes not seeing what her heart longs for.


Her greatest wish would be to see

her precious son

strolling up the walk with flowers in his hand,

a bashful smile upon his face,

as he seeks to touch his mother’s heart.


No more flowers, hugs, or smiles

will come from her pride and joy.

His life was cut short,

leaving bruised and broken hearts behind.


The mother’s mind races with questions

as she flees the warmth of her home

and enters the winter world beyond her door.

The shocking cold reminds her that she is indeed alive

and dealing with this searing grief.


She breathes in deeply

allowing the frigid air to cleanse her furied mind.

As she stares heavenward with questions brewing,

this mother cries aloud.



Why had her creator chosen to allow such pain and grief?

Was he punishing her for sins unconfessed?

Or some test of faith she had failed?


She waits expectantly for God’s voice to boom with judgment

as her anger and hurt reach new heights.





But instead of God’s uncaring rebuke,

A thought begins to melt the ice in her soul.

She feels as if a gentle friend has taken her by the hand

to lead her to an easy chair by a cozy fire.


As her pain and anguish fade into the background,

she hears a still, small voice

speaking to her fragile soul.


My child, do you not remember that I, too, lost a child?

A child who did not deserve to die?

A child who seemed to have much more to do?

But my higher ways demanded that his life would be cut short.

I saw the purpose that was greater than the pain.


One day, on the other side of your grief,

you will understand my reasons.

But until that day, I hope that you will be comforted to know,

I am fully acquainted with your grief.

No one is more suited to be your comforter than I.


Lean on me when the pain seems more

than you could ever bear.

Cry out to me when your heart won’t stop

aching over what you’ve lost.


Let me walk beside you as you stroll through memories--

some sweet, some sharp and jagged.

I love you, my child.

I understand.


 By Lee Merrill