My oldest daughter wrote the following during her freshman year in college. She wrote it after reading the Biblical verse quoted at the end of the poem. I was blown away by the imagery then, and I decided I should share it now:
He Saves Us, Anyway
You're drowning. And no one is there to care.
Trapped under the ice. You pound on it, desperate to break free.
But all you do is crack the ice. It does not break.
That always happens. You come so close to being free, but regardless
You're still stuck. Miserable, lonely, crying.
You start to sink lower and lower. Looking side to side, wanting help.
But finding none. Only seeing darkness.
You look down. Darkness. Reminder of your misery. Reminder of your
Longing to be happy. Reminder of the path you are heading to.
The path that you do not want to take.
You keep pounding on the ice. It does not break.
You try to not take the path you so desperately hate, but you sink
Further and further.
You reach as far as you can towards the ice. Your fingers touch it.
You gather strength enough to pound once more. But to no avail.
Why can you not break free? Are you not good enough?
Thoughts of worthlessness. They are the death of you. Pulling you
Even lower than you were before.
You are ready to give up. Just follow the inevitable, follow the path
You do not want to take.
You stop yourself from glancing down again. You almost look side-to-side.
Then you remember that you have not truly looked up. Only to pound on the ice.
But if pounding has not worked in the past, why would it work now?
You look up anyway. You do not pound on the ice. You see the cracks that
Your seemingly futile efforts have made. And beyond the cracks, there is light.
You wish you had the strength to break the ice.
To go beyond this place of darkness. To a place of warmth and comfort.
But you do not pound. You think about how worthless you are.
But then you think about how there was no light before you started pounding.
Maybe your efforts were not worthless after all.
You realize that you can not break out on your own from
The path you do not want to take.
And when you stop trying to do it on your own, and you look at the light,
You realize there is a hand stretched out.
He breaks the ice for you. He pulls you out of the darkness.
He provides you with warmth you never imagined.
And that is when you realize that you tried your best,
and although your best was not enough to save yourself, He saved you, anyway.
Because despite your loneliness, He was there. He was always there.
You stopped trying to save yourself from the path you don't want to take
and learned to trust Him, who loves us all.
2 Samuel 22:29 - "For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness."
Christmas Thoughts, 1964
2 hours ago