How like grief

           He was lifted up,
                      and a cloud took him out of their sight.
           While he was going
                      they were gazing up toward heaven…

                                      —Acts 1.9-10

How like grief is our prayer,
looking up to heaven.
How like loss, this longing.

Our faith is rooted in an absence,
our loyalty in a leave-taking,
our religion an emptying
of a grave, of our pockets, our hands.
A religion of grief,
and acquainted with sorrow.

No less than the first death,
again we let go, and let go,
and acknowledge the void.

Always seeking completion,
our lack grants humility.
A broken heart
the cracked seed of compassion.

There moves in us a leaning
both uncertain and sure,
a reaching across an abyss.

Only so is our joy honest,
only so are we prepared
to love.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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