The Word

There are no words for some days;
there are no words to take away
ten years that pass like treacle,
thick with the cloy of memory
and the bitter tang of grief;
there are no words to match
the headlong reel into a future
undone; we recoil from comfort,  
for there are no words.

Yet we wait on the Word that was
and is and is to come,
the light of the world
newly born in darkness.
We have not found the words
to take away sin and death,
to restore the bereft to life.
Still, we wait upon the Word.


Ten years ago, we were stunned and stricken by the news coming out of Newtown, CT, of a mass shooting at an elementary school. The next day, like so many preachers of the gospel, good news, I was lost for words. That Sunday, I was still waiting. “’A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more,’” I preached; “There is a time to respect Rachel’s refusal to find consolation. There is a time to sit quietly beside her while she rages and rents her clothes and wails her grief. There is a time to let the good news wait, because for now it can hardly be heard over the loud lamentation, and it will, after all, still be there tomorrow.”

Ten years later, with apologies to those still unconsoled, we wait still upon the Word to come; for good news to the victims of gun violence, peace on earth, and the goodwill to protect and celebrate every child of God. Amen: Come, Lord Jesus.


Image: Rachel is weeping for her children, fresco, public domain, via wikimedia commons

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
This entry was posted in Advent Meditations, gun violence, poetry, prayer, Whom Shall I Fear? and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Word

  1. HAT says:

    “Only say the word and we shall be healed …”

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