My Book of Uncommon Prayer: God of the Silences

August 3, '13 sunset

August 3, ’13 sunset

I have gotten the call and seen my beloved’s mangled motorcycle that once was shiny and new.  I have seen is grey limp body wheeled quickly down sterile corriders as I moved in shadows and fog.

I have opened the email with shocking words of a denial of faith, ever more sorrowing over the distance, each word a pierce and a weight.

I have stood by the side of the road, barely breathing, as firefighters reclaimed my boy’s broken body with Jaws of Life.  And I have helplessly watched him medivac-ed away by air to a trauma unit full of strangers when all I wanted was to hold him.

I have sung tearful songs, holding my Father’s hand, waiting for that last breath, wondering why so much pain for a life so well-lived.

And I have spread ashes to the wind of my wee firstborn . . . so is it unrealistic to fear . . . to conjure up in my imagination all the what-ifs in what often appears to be a Russian-roulette kind of life?

How does my devout life, invested totally in You, meet head to head and heart to heart with the broken life, with crumpled expectations–this broken life that would cry for intervention and often reap silences.

God of the silences, help.

Help me cling when I feel I am slipping away.

Show me the shimmers behind doubt that keep me pressing on when my fists are clenched and my soul weeps.

Forgive the anger–but a word of sure hope would be a help.

If faith is substance, the tangible, concrete stuff of things hoped for, I am needing a fistful to fill this gaping hole of fear.


“In You, oh Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in Your righteousness deliver me!”  ~~Psalm 31:1 (ESV)

My Book of Uncommon Prayer

My Book of Uncommon Prayer: Have Mercy

My Book of Uncommon Prayer: The Dance

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
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39 Responses to My Book of Uncommon Prayer: God of the Silences

  1. susiebell123 says:

    Dear Lily, I am so saddened to hear of your loss. I cannot imagine the pain you have endured. As a sister in Christ, I want to say that I know, from reading your blog these many months, that you are loved by many — you are not alone — and most importantly, our God does truly have you in His care. That said, I also want to say as a mother, I simply can’t even take my mind to one of those “what-ifs” . The fear is overwhelming. The sadness too deep. So I will pray for you today and hope that your pain will lessen. Perhaps look back at some of the hundreds of wonderful posts you have made, where you have embraced God, life — and know that your loved one is safely in His arms. With sincerity.

    • Thank you for such kindness. I have been blessed in so many ways, but it is as if at times the mind is haunted by all the dark possibilities that make it hard to surrender. Day by day. Thank you for your response and prayer.

  2. Dear Lilly, I am at a loss for words. I silently weep. I uplift you and your family in prayer, and pray for the comfort that only God can give.

  3. Sister-in-law says:

    Now, imagine you have no beloved husband, no children to cry over and are on your own… That is misery more profound and all alone in this world, isn’t it?

    • Each has a pain of his / her own, and all is not easy. Remember all those who lived in a sort of denial about the world’s trials and wanted to positive think it away? The challenge is, I think, look for the things to be thankful for, to hope for what is promised with great expectation, but at the same time do not pretend that this life is heaven and their is no pain. So many reject Christ, I think, because folks can not always be real. Christ with us the hope of glory is awesome, but in this torn world we need to be real about our own pain and others. Love you, and on those occasions when he acts stinky, I’ll let you borrow him for a while. 🙂

  4. nutsfortreasure says:

    Sending you a Big Hug Lily beautiful piece.
    This did not just happen correct? You write all the time so I can never be sure.
    Still the words haunt as we all go through so much loss don’t we.

    • It is many losses over many years that have made me who I am. I am not Pollyana-ish (but you guessed that), and I get mad at myself sometimes that I can’t act like a grown up and not be afraid of the dark or the boogey-man. But there it is. The fear creeps creepy. Pressing on!

      • nutsfortreasure says:

        Yes well we are alive and see life so crystal clear. I do not want to go one min. before I must. I just hope others will have got to see the joy in my life and smile when I go no tears for I have had an amazing life. Hugs

        Loosing my Dad 9 years ago hurt the worst and Mom will be 79 so I am thankful she is well.

  5. coastalcrone says:

    May you find peace and comfort.

  6. J.A. Vas says:

    for me, these songs of Virgin Black and Saviour Machine could gain consoling energy. in music and text…,,

  7. pattisj says:

    Covering you with prayers and hugs. Life rarely turns out as we expect, but God is faithful to pull us through…and remember, when we see only one set of footprints, He is carrying us.

  8. reinkat says:

    I felt such sorrow as I read these words, for you and for my own losses. All of us have many griefs and sorrows that haunt our hearts. I am sorry for your losses.
    On a practical level, though, as I read these words several times, and then went back and read your other 3 “uncommon prayer” posts – – – why are you not pursuing your idea of getting these published? Whether illustrated or not, your words move people greatly. I hope you move forward with this. It is worth doing, and a gift to all of us.

    • Thanks so much. It has been a thought that has grown in me for months, and as I add to them, I hope that perhaps I can do that. I know some would prefer happy happy thoughts and affirmations, and I love those too, and I do love to laugh; but what is real is addressing the hard places of life. We all have them, and they can either drive us to God or far from him. If we are real with one another and don’t try to give a sugary unrealistic portrait of faith, I think our testimony is more authentic and we become more approachable. When I used to travel and sing, the songs that most often touched people in profound ways were the ones that I wrote that real people in pain related to.

      • reinkat says:

        I hope you do it. I agree that people are very moved when they can identify with the expression of strong emotion in the arts. I think your prayers do that, although of course strong emotion can be joy as well as pain. I think we struggle along in this life with as many, if not more, moments of pain and fear than anything else. I like that you do not deny this in your poetry, and as you say, when we don’t sugarcoat our story of faith, it comes across as more authentic.

  9. Beautiful words of wisdom and encouragement for others who have faced trials of their own. Thank you for pouring out your heart and sharing your private pains so others may be lifted up!

  10. Mike says:

    This is heartbreaking Lilly. I am deeply sorry to read this.

  11. Thought and prayers with you Lilly. Strength to bear the unbearable is my wish for you.

  12. Angeline M says:

    Wishing I could put my arms around you. You are such a strong woman, but that does not take away the pain. We can only press on and find solace amongst friends, and our creative passions. Keep on writing.

  13. Shez says:

    Lilly, I did not know and I am sorry. Even though your fresh wounds have healed, the scars will always remain. Fortunately, their memory and their love fills our hearts.

  14. The wonder of our God: when we simply can’t take the next step or face the trial ahead, we feel His arm around us, His strength lifting us. I remember sitting in a hospital bed one day, finally there after a trip to the lab and an embarrassing episode at x-ray, having signed a form giving the doctors permission to do “whatever was needed” when they had me on the table. (Try that sometime and see how it easy it is!)

    I’d find out if the lump we felt was benign or cancer, if I’d had a lumpectomy or a full mastectomy. But I pretty well knew. the nurse pulled the curtain around me and I just bawled. I was only 27 and couldn’t face this. But from somewhere came a voice, “Get up and go wash your face and get ready.” Strength and courage poured into me and I was at peace again. It stayed with me, too, coming back again and again to combat my flashes of worry as I was wheeled down to OR the next morning.

    I wonder if He doesn’t also do this for some people who cry out in desperation for help, even though they may not acknowledge Him? He gives them the courage to face what’s ahead, just because of their need, even though they later don’t give Him any credit for it. At the end when the record of their life is open they’ll see it wasn’t “some mystic force I drew from within myself” but God Himself who came alongside them in their hour of need.

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