Exquisitely Tender

Love is a prism of emotion pinioned in the soul
Held fast, uncertain, cautious,
Remembering the ache of yesterday’s
Misspoken word,
An anchor line sheared in a squall of sickness,
Death’s inescapable grasp.

Yet too full not to bleed through the skin,
Seep into the eyes
And escape the tongue,
By sheerest nuance of an ordinary word.

Love is an unheard voice
In an Indonesian hospital, asking,
“Is it the rainy season there, Papa?”
A diminutive doll with deep brown eyes
And long, straight black hair
In a sterile room
Recovering from Typhoid.

Love is five first cousins,
Fiercely loyal, unknowingly exclusive,
Confident en mass,
Suddenly standing as
In the beat of a heart
That beats no more.

Love is silently slipping the cellophane
Off the last mint as the pastor speaks,
And reluctantly placing it in
The outstretched hand to my left.

Love is a stream of tears splashing
Into a dish of forgotten ice cream
As words sail across state lines
And shatter my heart.

Love is ninety-eight years across four generations
Rearranging summer schedules, games and practices
To gather each July on the shores of Lake Michigan
Because, “Family matters.”

Love is sitting vigil through the long hours
Of the night,
Silently present, simply another
Heart beating in the dark
Because sometimes,
It’s too hard to be alone.”

Love is inconvenient
And consuming.
Sometimes requiring more than I have –
More than I can imagine,
More than I’m willing or able to pay.

And yet I do.

It’s easy to give in abundance
When the cost is light and time is free,
But when the price inflates,
I balk, clenching my fist against
Fear creeping in among the shadows,
Refusing to expend,
Determined to preserve myself.

Because love hurts,
And it costs everything.
All I have, all I feel,
All that I am.

But then love fills.
Effervescing from the depths of loss,
Oozing into the soul
And suffusing life with Eden’s joy,
A touch so exquisitely tender
It hurts,
Shattering the bonds
Constraining my soul
And exploding into brilliant silence
Replete with the fullness of speech,
Intimate communion with the Holy One,
The great I AM,
The source and genesis
Of the pure and perfect
Wellspring of LOVE.

*This was written to give wings to the words of my heart — in remembrance of my brother Timm’s birthday, February 13th, someone I miss more with every passing year, in celebration of family with whom I would not want to live this life without, and in grateful praise to my Heavenly Father who loves me more than I will ever begin to know or understand — truly love without end.


20 thoughts on “Exquisitely Tender

  1. pathoftreasure

    Love does hurt, it does cost everything… and when the Source comes in, filling all the holes until they are overflowing, then the joy of knowing Him makes life meaningful and worth it all, and fills us with a joy that is inexplicable and a love that is unexplainable. I was touched by your poem and this bittersweet remembrance of your brother. I love your heart, and I appreciate you– “a soul stirred by God”– sharing what He’s implanting and growing in you. Sending you a great big hug.


  2. Cindee, oh, I want to come over to your house and hug you up! What a BEAUTIFUL poem and a BEAUTIFUL, BREATHTAKING tribute to your brother and our Heavenly Father who is the ultimate muse. I’m just finding that out, myself. I loved this poem. My heart is so full for you.


  3. Hi Cindee- this is very beautiful. You might think about joining the High Calling Blogs– several very fine Christian writers there– hope you linked to it on the Love Is post on SW– Love– Jenne’


  4. I feel your pain because I have been there. My little brother was murdered when he was 16. I wrote a poem which was published in my first poetry book and also posted on my blog. The hurt and pain really never goes away. My brother was only three years older than my oldest daughter.


  5. I never got strongly into poetry, but I know beautiful words when I hear them. I certainly identify with love hurting when you invest yourself in someone, and they leave or are taken from you. It has happened to me many times. It’s only the grace of God that allows me to go on.

    ~ VT


  6. My goodness, Cindee, but you’ve got a talent for imagery. I love this because it’s poetic, but not necessarily poetry–you haven’t limited yourself by overstructuring it. Beautifully done!

    – Scott


  7. Beautiful, Cindee. I could easily repeat everything that was said in the comments above. Very glad to have you a part of the chain. I’m also very sorry to hear of your loss. You will be in my prayers.


  8. Wonderful poem, Cindee. Your love of family – and your love for God – is clearly evident in the evocative word pictures you painted here. I’m so glad you’ve joined the blog chain. 🙂


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