“The Problem of Pain”

Posted: 06/06/2011 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Could somebody please tell me why
A newborn baby has got to cry
For us to know that it’s gonna survive?

Is sorrow the state we are sent to this earth.
If we gotta cry from the moment of birth?
It’s like we’re born believing we’re already cursed

It’s like we know from the moment we exist
That it’s not supposed to be like this
It’s been twisted and shifted
And set adrift
Forsaking and taking for granted the gift
Of a life that was breathed from out of the dust
Yet the words from that same breath, I don’t trust
So I look to the fruit of the tree and I lust
And I take and I break the whole world back to dust

Then I pick up the pieces
Of the mess I created
And I look to the skies
And I try to debate it
Asking why,
If it’s Him who really made it,
Then how in the hell
Could he forsake it?

If he was really “good”
Wouldn’t he just embrace it?
Take the pain and erase it?

So how could a good God
Let this world grow so grim?
Well, it’s got a lot more to do with me
Than it does with Him.
Cuz I was the one that chose to sin
And when sin came, death came right on in

But still some things happen
And “why?” I can’t answer
Like why a single mother
Has to die of cancer

Or why a young couple gives birth
To a stillborn baby
Or why earthquakes are tumbling
Down buildings in Haiti

Or why tsunamis are sweeping up
Over Japan
Or why hospitals are bombed
In Afghanistan

Or why some girls are forced
To sell their bodies to get paid
Or why generations in nations
Are wasted by AIDS

Or why some youth find
Their whole lives without hope
So they die
Literally at the end of their rope

God, I see their distress
And the problem of pain
Is that I can’t just re-spawn
Like some video game

I can only respond
Reach my hand through the flame
And proclaim that it’s purging
Not trying to maim

And it will leave me changed
But maybe not for the better
I might wear it around
Like a scarlet letter
As a constant sign
Of my shame and regret or

You might take that pain as a gain
Not just cause for sympathy
Use it to undo injustice
And to set the captives free

Heal and be an advocate
Breathe dust back into love
For after all my scrapes and scratches
It’s the scars that make skin tough

So, though some things happen
That I may never understand
I trust and believe
That there is a greater plan
Because I learned this truth as a boy
And understood it as a man
That God’s got the whole world
In His hands

So as the babies cry
And the world spins madly on
I can’t get stuck on the “why”
But the gift is in how I will respond


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