Poetry in Medicine / Writings and Books . . .

New Poem . . . “Pray Tonight”

“Pray Tonight”

Earl Stewart, Jr.

 

She sat and thought to herself.

The rough roads never seemed to ease,

The hills seeming rather hard to climb, each

Passing day.

Why was there no definite way

Out?

The inconsiderate nature of the bills, the creditors, her boss.

Didn’t they understand just how much she lost?

The deaths of three close family members throughout the course of the last year,

Her husband’s cancer treatment draining their finances, and despite the travels back and forth,

The days of enduring pain, and watching him suffer,

How she was often compelled at times to curse her very birth

In times like these and for such a time as this.  Yet, there were

A few days, in the midst of it all, of subtle bliss.

Of her husband, Harry’s, gentle kiss.  How she wished

He was near, again.  The years together, of those she often reminisced.

For him and those days, now, she missed.

Going about her daily chores, her mind took her back to days of spiritual intimations,

Of service to a God who seemed to be present, both day and night.

She and her husband would attend church services.

All the years together they strove to live right,

And were reminded time and again, by study of His Word, by the sermons of the Preacher,

How they were, despite whatever may come, truly precious pearls in His eyesight.

But away she did stray, in mind-frame and heart. 

The burdens she had to bear, the pressure she did face . . .

How could the God she loved for so long, from her days as a youth,

Inexplicably allow her to endure such hardship?

She forgot that day.

She forgot to pray.

She forgot the way.

She forgot to say,

“Lord, have thine own way,

In my life.”

Surveying her life and the cross yet again, she took time out of her busy day,

And sat still, quiet, listening for that still, small, and quiet voice.

She reached for, brushed off, and opened an old, dusty Bible she received as a gift from her Grandmother after her Baptism, noting the several highlighted and underlined passages from her days of Christian avidity, and she wept. 

She flipped the pages and came to a bookmarked page and noted one highlighted, short verse delineated as 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing . . .”

And her eyes drifted ever so slightly to a note she wrote to herself as a reminder in the margin next to that verse years ago that very simply read, “Pray tonight.” 

So she humbled herself to her knees, looked toward the hills of Heaven, and prayed that night like she had in days of her youth, subsequently laying herself down to sleep, praying the Lord her very soul and life to keep.

By the dawn of the next morning’s Light, her weeping had ceased.

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