Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Deepest Sorrow of All

I often sing in my mind the refrain of the Tabernacle Choir singing "David's Lamentation" by William Billings.

David the King was grieved and moved;
He went to his his chamber,
His chamber and wept;
And as he went,
He wept and said,
"O my son!
O my son!
Would to God I had died!
Would to God I had died for thee!
O Absalom,
My son,
My son!"

Vic'try that day was turned into mourning
When the people did see how the King grieved for his son.
He covered his face, and in a loud voice cried,
"O my son!
O my son!
Would to God I had died!
Would to God I had died for thee!
O Absalom,
My son,
My son!"


My longing and regret is that I was an absent father for such a long time, and such a critical period in the lives of my sons. I am sad that I missed so much, and feel guilty that I was not there for them. I weep to know of times they needed a dad, and I was not there, and my heart aches. I can never make up for times lost, but can try to make some recompense for the damage I caused, and hopefully they will accept some benign advice and well-intentioned guidance from admittedly foolish and crippled old man.

I am searching in the darkness for the light of inspiration. I feel a real sense of urgency about this, because I think nothing is more important, and my time seems very limited.

There also seems to be much in the way of opposition to overcome. Most of it seems to be of my own doing, unfortunately.

In the horror of nightmares, one recurs. I never understood quite what it meant to me until now. Perhaps it seems more significant, given the current circumstances with myself and my family.

I am dreaming that I am in the woods with a group of young boys. They seem to be looking to me as their leader. We are all more or less outfitted in uniform green.

Somewhere along the trail, one of the group discovers a box that is labelled with a very old label I recognize. It is old explosives, and I tell the boys I see that it is old and weeping, and very dangerous.


I tell them all about handling explosives and primer cord safely, and leave them to experiment with the case of the unstable stuff. As I walk away, suddenly there is a flash and a huge detonation, and many screaming voices and cries of distress. I turn to look, and see the broken and agonized, suffering and begging me, pleading for help! And above all, the living, broken survivors suffering in such pain, and askng me, why didn't I stop them? Why?

I will do what I can.
I will do what I can.

Sitting around weeping never solved anything.

Again, my sorrows are my own.


2 comments:

9 of Nine said...

Oh, Jim. If I could bandage the wounds of your heart with songs of love and kindness, I would sing until I had no more voice.

Is there no way for you to put away yesterday's sorrow, and find solace in the joy of today?

I often say to myself "There is no yesterday. There is only today and tomorrow." This is the truth of the gospel if we love and believe our sweet Savior, who will bear away all our sorrow, if we will only permit him.

When my sorrows become to great for me to bear, I close my eyes and see myself kneeling at his mighty feet. I see the scars, the wounds from those awful nails that pierced his beautiful feet, and my tears fall upon them. And then I find a bundle in my hands, wrapped neatly in rough hewn fabric, tied tightly with twine. I place the bundle at his feet, and he lets me. He wants it there, it belongs to him. It is his. My burden is his burden.

Begin to believe him. Go to him. Give him your burdens. Let go of yesterday's sorrow, and embrace the joy of today.

I love you.

Jim Cobabe said...

Ruth,

I seek to believe the Savior as you do. My understanding is far short of where yours stands. I continue to try.

When I meet him, which I expect to be not tto long in coming, then I think I will know.

Thank you.