The Roar

The roar, a prayer, from somewhere deep
A prayer of grief
that keening makes,
…because of pain that mourning shapes. 
A moan at first, there are no words,
then wrenching out to final roar. 

The roar it comes from somewhere real
Do not defy, do not pretend:
This place, this desert, so destitute.
A rocky valley, a swirling eddy, …
a place where others seldom enter .
But it is the
cry for others,
and how tragic if not shared.
So roar your prayer, and some may see,
this place with empathy.

To listen to the roar
is to listen to a prayer,
look  down the depth of pain,
look down that  well with them,
…then sob and wail.
For from the bottom of that well
their honest roar it came.

How can the body hold,
such grief, such anger or despair?
It must not, else it fall apart.
Let it roar and be a prayer. 
Oh, Lord, this roar,
is our only prayer.
It is our holy prayer.

So for now
find that place where you can roar
and let the roar be your honest  prayer,
your primal prayer…
…your only prayer.
Then take a breath…
and say, 
            Amen.

In Psalm 73, the psalmist says, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant: I was a brute beast before you.” (verses 21 & 22)  Sometimes our prayers are groans or sighs.  And sometimes they reach to the center of our core and are expressed in roars, from that place of deep grief, frustration, anger or utter despair.  Seldom do we give each other or ourselves permission to express that sort of emotion, and that is tragic.  So it is stuffed and I wonder if it leaks out of us in other ways…unhealthy ways. 

About Mary Herbert

I am a gentle listener, a woman of few words. My journey through life has been a spiritual one, as well as a physical one. My daughter, Katie, and I thought it would be interesting to combine some of our giftings/talents in a blog and see what happens. Let us know what you think!

4 thoughts on “The Roar

  1. Thank you for sharing this precious gift of poetry that God has placed within you. I have, on several occasions, had deep, loud groanings of prayer.

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  2. 10 years ago you helped me learn to roar out my pain. Gradually, over years, the roar turned into a gentle sob. And now it’s a place of waiting solitude. And the joy of helping others learn to roar in their pain is such a gift that has come out of it all.

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