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in sleeplessness

August 2, 2017

“The time when you deliberately say, ‘I must sacrifice this, that, or the other’ is when you do not supremely desire the end in view. At such times you are doing your duty, and that is admirable, but it is not love. But as soon as your duty becomes your love the self-sacrifice is taken for granted, and, whatever the world calls it, you call it so no longer.”
— Dorothy Sayers, The Whimsical Christian 


Sleepless eyes open wide
Dark and dusky smudged
To weak-willed limbs and fractious words,
Nausea, disgust.

A tumult and a labor are
My sluggish, foggy thoughts:
It brings the monster out in me,
Not the love of God.

But I remember watching you,
Weary restless nights
When ache and pain racked your frame
With breathless moaning sighs.

What milk and chocolate couldn’t soothe:
A wordless weary grief,
The quiet desperate pleading for
A terminal relief.

Chair or bed no difference made
To pangs on every side
So yawning at the table, we
Would measure out the night.

There we waited, hushed, for day
And found a kind of peace.
Or was it the effect of grace
Commending us in this:

In much endurance, hunger, thirst,
Affliction, toil, pain,
The hardship God has set for us
The loss that is our gain?

Today the mirror tells me that
This grace is something learned
And long-lost nights of sitting by
Your pain, the skill once earned,

Remind me of the strength that can
Be made for me anew,
The Spirit-living effort that
It takes to love one through


…in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left…  

2 Corinthians 6:4-7


  1. Elisabeth permalink

    This is really beautiful…and helpful to my thinking about an upcoming trip to be with my aunt, who is suffering from cancer. Thank you.,

  2. Thank you! I’m glad.

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