How to look for hope in the darkest valleys?   The son now in intensive care after being knocked off his bike by a hit and run driver?   The much loved dad and husband,  left unconscious and bleeding on the side of the road?  I’ve been down this road before (*)  but this time there’s light ahead as he  slowly, slowly comes back to himself.

Can God really bring good out of things like this?  Can a soul that’s been fragmented become whole again, an even richer whole than before?  My friend Dr Jennifer Bute sent a poem I hadn’t seen before.  It says everything:

The light that our ruin lets in

There is the falling. The breaking.
The tearing open. The pulled apart.
The head buried in the hands.
The fists pounding on the floor.
The shrieks and the sobs and the why
and the why
and the why.

This is the broken heart; the grief; the failure;
the betrayal; the disappointment; the loss;
the leaving the garden behind.

There is the waking up in the wilderness.
The long and trembling wait.
The glimpse of movement in the shadows.
The pale beginning. The unexpected expansion.
The deeper rivers discovered. The reality uncovered.
The truth rushing up. The love pouring in
and pouring in
and pouring in.

This is the dawn that darkness brings;
the light that our ruin lets in;
the gold filling the cracks in our shattered selves.

There is the realisation. The astonishment of grace.
The heart knows why it was made.
The response.
The renewed or newly discovered purpose.
The opening up. The reaching out.
The tentative steps forward growing bolder
and bolder
and bolder.

This is the move from I to us, from me to we;
the fierce and tender hope
that only eyes that have wept can see;
the journey that is goodness, is a terrible beauty,
is the message that is written in the blood of God.

© Gideon Heugh, taken from ‘Rumours of Light’


Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Julie+Waterman

    Louise, thank you for sharing. My mum is going through a very difficult time as dementia is making life so much harder for her. She is losing her independence and that is causing a great deal of frustration for her and anxiety for me as I try to take on things to make life easier for her. We are waiting for a place at Finborough Court where I know she will be well cared for and her spiritual needs met. It’s the waiting that is difficult…
    This poem captures all that. God continue to bless you and the amazing Jennifer Bute xx

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