Irreparable Loss

Poetry, Death, Suffering, Loss, Resurrection, Salvation, Lazarus, John Caputo, Death of a Child, John 11:1-44
Angel of Grief by Carptrash, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Some losses are irreparable.
The time is ruined.
The suffering cannot be redeemed.

There is no gain from this pain,
no view long enough to eventually say, “It was worth it,”
nothing that can compensate for what has been taken.

And that’s okay.
I do not want a salary for my suffering,
I want salvation from it.

This irreparable loss,
this ruined time,
this unredeemable suffering,
expose finitude –
mine and God’s.

When has God ever turned back time or undone the past?
In the face of grief and sorrow God is weak and powerless.
Where is the Omni in that Potent?

Either God cannot or God simply chooses not to.

If those are my choices, I choose the weak God.
That’s the God who knows me best.
That’s the God who knows my finitude before loss, suffering, death.
That’s the God whose tears mingle with mine.
That’s the God whose heart breaks with mine.

“And Jesus wept,”
just like me.

I would rather believe in a God who cannot undo my past
than a God who can but chooses not to.
I no longer have much room or need for the Omnipotent God.

I don’t want magic, I want a miracle.
“Magic is an illusory strong force,”
turning back time, undoing the past,
“a miracle is a genuine but weak force of God,”
a new birth, a new beginning, a new day.

“Lazarus, come out!”

I cannot escape my past,
but I can be unbound.
I can enter a new time,
the time of salvation.

“Unbind him, and let him go.”

This poem is based on and inspired by John Caputo’s The Weakness of God – A Theology of the Event (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006), 236-244.

7 thoughts on “Irreparable Loss

  1. My words fail me. The pain, truth and beauty of your poem have touched the depths of my heart as my heart reaches out to you and Cyndy with love and friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike, thank you for sharing. It spoke to my heart and I appreciate the way you and Cyndy give comfort to those who have suffered your similar loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike, the best I can do with this is is to draw on the Fatherhood of God. On the human level, we give birth to our sons or daughters and guide them closely up to a point, but at that point, they go beyond our control and do things we wish they wouldn’t do, but if they are free, we cannot guide and guard every move they make. On a higher level, it helps me to think of God in similar terms as Our Heavenly Father. That may not satisfy other people, and I know the analogy breaks down. But that usually helps me . . . to a point.

    Liked by 1 person

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