On the Shortness and Uncertainty of Life

Hope Is A Face, Two Hands, Scarred Feet.

Connor Gwin / 1.28.20

“O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we pray, deeply aware of the shortness and uncertainty of human life…” (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 504)

There are no good words for
our collective destination. Apart
from tragic, untimely, too soon.
The wound at the heart of the world.
Another angel added; a road well walked.

Words won’t do now, not for this.

The living bear all the grief of those who
were and are and will one day die.
Our plans, kingdoms, minds fall flat
before the period at the end of each line.
We don’t hold the pen, our days will end.
Where then is mercy? Whither hope?

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word wept

for the world, for you, for untimely,
and too soon. The Word weeps still
with sea-born tears that wash over
again, again with each new sentence end.

The mercy is presence not relief.
Hope is a face, two hands, scarred feet.
A quiet stand at the doorway and entry in
to a place where to end is only to begin.

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4 responses to “On the Shortness and Uncertainty of Life”

  1. duo says:


  2. CJ says:

    “Hope is a face” — right on

  3. Ken says:

    “Mercy is presence not relief” – perfectly put.

  4. Vicki says:

    How beautiful!

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