Death smears our race with pain, clogs our media, and follows us home. It seems to be around every corner. We face it unprepared.
In the story of Jesus and his friend Lazarus, we read about the pain Jesus felt from his loss of a close friend. What struck me this time as I remember this story is that the short verse, “Jesus wept,” is in isolation. He is alone with his grief in this moment, much as his name and this verb are alone. Nothing distracts or diminishes the hurt described here. Yet, this small sentence is part of a larger context, a story of resurrection. We must keep reading to see it.
This small sentence, though, is mourning. It is God’s pain and humanity’s pain, unfiltered. Jesus wept. We weep. That is what I capture in this poem.
To the grieving, God bless, and keep reading.
it is gut-wrenching, time-stopping phone calls.
it is not enough time, a last goodbye, or no goodbye at all.
it is numbness and it is yelling at the sky every question clawing up our throats.
it is photographs in shaking fingers and tears hidden in pillows.
it is a circle of hands and a lone, wavering voice saying prayers.
it is a long, heavy box carried on our shoulders.
at the end of the day it is the sound of a melancholy song loud on the stereo
while we sing along to the tune playing from our heart.
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Grief by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


The Bleeding Christ

A poem for when we feel lost and unheard by God.
God bless
“In his [Jesus’s] anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44 NRSV)
“The Bleeding Christ”
I follow the bleeding Christ
who did not get the deliverance He prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Stepping away from His last free moment,
He met the stab of betrayal.
He took the wound freely
and bled loss, despair, questions, pain, and humanity.
Hanging on the cross alone, He did not get His answers, and they say
the sun turned black.
I think I know what that looks like.
“What is resurrection?” I ask atop Golgotha.
Answers do not live on Golgotha but in the hard path forward.
On my way, I have found stubborn, fighting, compassionate, longing love
bursting from darkness to the clarity of life.
Passing on the passion, Christ rose from defeat into eternity in us.
I follow the bleeding Christ.
He carried on when He did not get answers, and so will I.
I follow because resurrection is the other side of my grave of pain.
Resurrection will be change. I will not be made again as I was before,
but I will be whole.
Creative Commons License
The Bleeding Christ by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Below the Cross

I wrote this while reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday and His incredible strength and courage in the face of such pain and evil. By His grace, that strength is in us as well.

God bless

“Below the Cross”
for a mere moment
my eyes fall shut on the crowds below.
shouts and jeers rush into the darkness,
a surge of oily hatred.
I rally and force my bruised eyelids
back open and see a sea of enemies
that I love,
for whom I hang by
bloody wrists pinned to wood
by long, black nails.
they shove sponges of vinegar into
my parched mouth and bid me
save myself.
but oh, my little lost ones, I did not come
to save myself.
I cannot come down.
My mission looks bleak in the face of
hundreds of sharp eyes glaring from
the ground of the Skull.
i have walked among these people, healed
their sick, held their children, taught
their hearts truth,
but darkness stands tall and gruesome in this
late hour.
sagging, choking on my own weight and
the burdens one by one mounting on top
of my whipped shoulders with every call of
Crucify him I
keep my eyes open and
I tell you, children, though you cannot see
in the black hell you have summoned here,
I tell you I am stronger
than your malice and your fear.
for in losing all I have, I gain your freedom
by the name of grace abundant.
as you hear my dying cries, listen,
for I am crying that I love you.
Though in darkness you see me leave today
I will be back for you,
my little ones
at the foot of my cross.
Creative Commons License
Below the Cross by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.