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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Jin Lee


On Good Friday

I paused today trying to grasp life and death in a number. I tried to remain still before the report of 100,000 lives lost from this earth.

I fidgeted through Good Friday services when I was in the youth group. We were all hungry, and I was always a little dizzy. Every year, our youth pastor encouraged us to fast on this holy day. It was a dutiful practice that now remains a gift. Those solemn services where we were supposed to focus on Jesus’ suffering were tough for this teenager trying to pay attention while nursing a growling stomach. I couldn’t stay still very well; I imagine God’s kind eyes over me as I recall those Good Friday nights long ago.

Today, I still struggle to remain still. Not long enough to conceive the enormity and the ever particularity of the death toll spread across today’s headlines. With the nurturing invitation of a poet, I am able to stay still for little while. Long enough to let my heart reach the beginning edge of darkness. For as darkness grows deep into the night, the possibility of a coming light can begin to be dreamed, to be prayed, to be waited.

This night, eternity hungers with earth’s pangs.

. . .

This day

let all stand still

in silence,

in sorrow.

Sun and moon

be still.


be still.


the wind.

Let the ground

gape in stunned


Let it weep

as it receives

what it thinks

it will not

give up.

Let it groan

as it gathers

the One

who was thought

forever stilled.


be still.


and wait.


©Jan Richardson


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