All These Tears

I have been reading Eugene Peterson’s book, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, and I came across this quote which like a seed in a sidewalk crack germinated and sprouted, not in leaf, but as a poem.

“All these tears are gathered up and absorbed in the tears of Jesus.”

All these tears which trace the sad goodbyes of
Friends, who came to a fork, and took instead
The other way, and though every step tread
Grows the gap, it does not lessen the love.

All these tears cried in regret for the missed
Opportunity, the squandered chance to
Change, the scandal which you drug others through,
Leaving you wishing you did not exist.

All these tears a mother cried for her son
Whose coming she marveled, gladly received,
And bore him nine months, delivered, believed–
To stand at the foot of his cross undone.

All these tears which the Good Shepherd, like sheep
Gathers. His eyes search out and calls them his own
As his heart breaks, cries, Forsaken! Alone!
And absorbs all these tears with those he weeps.

Though sad in this world, we shall on that day
Meet the One whom all these tears, wipes away.

© Randall Edwards 2019
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself, Randall Edwards, and this blog ( Thanks.
Artwork: Gebhard Fugel [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Good Grief

Here’s an example of how other’s words are like seeds which find their way into your imagination and grow and bear fruit — in this case a poem.

Tish Harrison Warren, writes of her season of lament and grief HERE. In her post she says “grief is like sand”. That is a great metaphor and line. It found its place in my imagination and sprouted into this poem which I had not written as, but to no one’s surprise, was actually a sonnet.

The sonnet is entitled, Good Grief. If it’s helpful, you may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.

Grief is like sand; it finds its way into
All around, underneath, through and through;
It gets in my shoes, the stuff of my day;
I vacuum, clean but to my dismay
It’s followed me on my vacation.
It stalks my way to each destination;
Uninvited, it sets an ambush of tears.
Botheration, this sand, it gets in my drawers–
Into my chest which holds and stores
The feelings I don’t often wear.
Grief opens doors when we, sadness share
The heart of our loss, worries, and cares
Grief, though not a good, is yet a sign
Of love that was and yet remains mine.

© Randall Edwards 2017
artwork: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), St. John Comforting the Virgin at the Foot of the Cross (After the Ninth Hour), 1862; pencil and watercolour with bodycolour and gum arabic on paper laid on linen