A Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Lent 5)

(John 11: 1-45)

Lord, if you had been here
when the cancer became untreatable,
when the clot travelled the artery,

when the mudslide left the mountain,
when the airplane met the sea,

when the heart ceased its drumming
and the tired marcher rested
from its long parade,

Lord, if you had been here
in the hospital room,
the bedroom,
the shopping mall,
the street,

if you had been here
when it happened
in the evening,
in the morning,
in the afternoon,

if you had been here
when it was too soon,
when it was too quick,
when it was too late,
when it took too long,

Lord, if you had been here
for our brother,
the loved one
who passed beyond our reach

would death have won?

But you have been here.
Here by the bedside,
by the roadside,
by the graveside,
by our side
in the confining caves of grief.

You are here
where tears remain wet
on hurt faces.
You are here
where hearts remain
shrouded by the pain
you feel with us,
and for us as well.

You were there at
the grave of Lazarus,
irretrievably lost to
his family and friends,
but not lost to you;
gone beyond
their loving reach
but not yours.

You were there
and the stone
was removed from the tomb.
You were there
with your shout
and the air
held its breath.
You were there
and burial cloths were unbound
and lost Lazarus
opened his eyes
to the sun.

And you are here, Lord,
in the hospital room,
in the bedroom,
the shopping mall,
the street.
You are here
drying tears on hurt faces,
setting free the bound ones
from the shrouds of death,
leading us out
of whatever caves are confining us
and reminding us
that in you
death will not triumph:

your love
that has no limits
has won.

7 thoughts on “A Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Lent 5)

  1. Deanna Wilson says:

    Hello Andy
    This “Love…” poem of Lazarus is beautiful. God has given you lovely gifts of faith and poetry. Thank you.

    • Andy King says:

      How wonderful to hear from you, Deanna! Thank you very much for visiting the blog, and for your encouraging words. Blessings!

  2. Empy says:

    This is lovely. I am thinking that maybe I could read it to conclude Sunday’s sermon, of course, giving credit to the author. I shared one of your poems previously. Would it be all right to do this, and if so, it this something that I might do from time to time? Is it necessary to ask your permission as long as you are credited?

    I am not one who reads much poetry, but I appreciate the fact that what you write is easily understood, and speaks to the heart.

    • Leslie Anthony says:

      Andrew, would love to once again share your poem in this Sunday’s service, with credit to you of course. Thanks so much for sharing your gift with us all. You are a blessing

  3. Dennis B Calhoun says:

    Thanks for this poem, Andrew. I hope you’ll not mind that I used it in my sermon this morning…with full attribution, of course. Several people in the congregation asked for a copy. I have sent them the link to your blog.

    I just discovered your work this past week. I would be glad for opportunity to connect online. I serve a mainline Protestant congregation in Massachusetts and will be taking a sabbatical this summer exploring poetry as a frame for accessing themes of Hebrew and Christian scripture. Perhaps we could chat?

  4. Julie Beck says:

    Your poetry gives word for many, including me. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. I now look for your poems every week! Julie B

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