Words Are Hard To Find

A Vigil tonight in Newtown, CT
A Vigil tonight in Newtown, CT

Words are hard to find
To describe that which makes no sense –
How can we comprehend, such dark and wild violence?

Words are hard to find
In the face of loss so immense –
How should we respond to darkness so intense?

Words are hard to find
As these images burn the eye –
How can we change this world while parents weep and cry?

Words are hard to find
As questions and confusion fill the air –
How can we reach out to those hurt and show them that we care?

Words are hard to find
As we assemble singing ‘Away in a Manger’ –
How can we communicate Jesus to a world immersed in grief and anger?

Words may be hard to find
As we watch in wild disbelief –
Our full presence without voice is what is needed in this grief.

We offer thanks, O Lord
For those who’ve entered into the pain –
to pray, console, and offer love and be your hands again.
Lighten our darkness, O Lord.
Protect us from the evils of the night.
Be with all who weep and sorrow, as Beacon and as Light.
We lift our voice to pray,
Even though words are hard to find –
For children lost, for teachers too, and families left behind.

13 thoughts on “Words Are Hard To Find

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  1. There is no way to understand or explain when evil strikes–
    the young man who perpetrated the crime or the loss of young lives and their principal and teachers–all completely unfathomable.
    May God have mercy.

  2. Kevin: A beautiful reflection and sums up many of our thoughts and we would imagine the thoughts of many others. You truly have the flavour of Rex Murphy – it must be the Newfoundland air. God Bless

    Sue and Percy O’Driscoll

  3. Kevin: with due respect, as a therapist specializing in trauma and loss, your poetic words were not what I, nor the people I work with, needed to hear…AS HARD AS IT IS, we need to FIND words…to open a conversation with our parents and children, teachers and school administrators…about what they are afraid of and speechless about, have heard about and are uncertain about, question and hope for…words connect us…conversation engages us…a childrens’ choir on Saturday Night Live opened the show with the singing of Silent Night…it was powerful…an American president found the words this weekend to convey a tragic sense of profound loss….he united a country’s sentiments…and, I and innumerable therapists and teachers tomorrow morning, will find words to connect with what the people of Sandy Hook experienced and we feel…WE NEED TO FIND WORDS…what did you think, what did you feel, what do you know, what questions do you have, what do you worry about, what would you like TO DO IN RESPONSE TO WHAT HAS HAPPENED?…healing from trauma is helped immensely with words, as hard as they might be to find….John Postons

    1. With as much respect, I believe that these words have opened many conversations – your comment comment among them. I am sorry that you do not see the value in my ‘poetic words’ – oddly enough, and ironically, these WORDS of mine were the impetus for many meaningful conversations these past couple of days.
      My preaching, in fact, on Sunday focused on how we respond as a people.

      This initial response of mine was very much MY response to MY feelings on Friday. As someone who has lived trough trauma I also speak as one who knows that sometimes people feel the need to ‘say something’ in a tome of crises. I know from lived experience that the last thing I needed to hear were words from folks who simplified everything to be a part of God’s plan.

      I would hope that if i were to be coming to you with that grief you would agree that sometimes what a grieving person needs is not trite and simplified answers but the caring presence and support of others who can enter into that pain and grief without having to explain it away.

      So – thank you for continuing the conversation – I have always known you to be among the best of counsellors and am confident that you may have missed what was in MY heart when I wrote my words in the aftermath of Friday’s horrific events.

      1. I thought Kevin’s words, his poem, was beautiful. As usual the “experts” think they say it best. With all respect to the trauma expert, I think it is well beyond time for fancy words and for the experts and the politicians to spout ‘our hearts and prayers’ speech. It is time to do something about guns and the gun mentality in this country of the United States. Then it is also time to put some teeth into mental health or put people away in the insane asylums of yesteryear. Wouldn’t that last idea set people’s teeth on edge. We just run people with mental issues out in the streets or leave their parents to deal with them. With inadequate facilities, beds and funds. We go overboard on laws to protect —
        the rights of the mentally ill have precedence over the righs of the public to be protected. They don’t have to take meds if they don’t feel so inclined. I also think the benighted mother of the shooter was a fool to have three guns unsecured in her house. I would, as an American citizen, go so far as to say it is time to repeal the Second Amendment. This is a Republic with a standing army and not in need of a militia. Oops. Someone might come shoot me down in Arizona for expressing such outrageous opinions.

    2. Now we’re talkin’…or bloggin’! Thank you Kevin for clarifying your heartfelt message and sharing the caring person beneath your words.My deep apology for ‘my words’ of misunderstanding at a time when I too searched for expressions of comfort, guidance, and hope for the community I work in (the ancient dialectical debate?).You are one of the most dynamic leaders and preachers in the church I know of at this time, and I am so glad you are serving in St. Aidan’s, a community close to my heart (just regret not hearing your sermon last Sunday!). Let’s keep the conversation going ‘from all sides’. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday is too life-shattering to distance ourselves from or divide ourselves by. Blessings, John .

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