Why Death, Lord?

When my own father died of heart attack,
And died before reaching the hospital
I asked the Lord why?
When my auntie died of bone cancer,
And saw her body crumpled in pain each day
I asked the Lord why?
When my own brother died of high blood pressure,
and lost his ability to speak and move his body,
I asked the Lord why.

When twenty innocent kids at 6-7 years old
plus 6 adults among their teachers and principal
had their bodies riddled by bullets of a gunman,
I asked the Lord why?
Where is God? Where is He as Creator and Protector?
Where is He when men are gripped by the power of evil?
Where is He when precious blood is spilled off and wasted?
Where is He when violence takes control over humanity?

But I hear the silent whisper at Christmas time
The whisper of angels of the birth of Jesus, the little baby
wrapped up by dwadling clothes by Mary, wrapping life's
own fragility, holding and protecting the child
from the grip of death
in Herod's intent to kill Jesus, the child.

At Christmas time, I see the star above
pointing to the stable where Jesus was born
Not in a palace or castle where everything was secure
But here in the lowly stable the fragile child Jesus
was born, subject to threats of disease and death,
subject to violence by those who had power
in their hands to eradicate the child.

At Christmas time, I see the angels
pointing to the star above,
to the lights of hope
even if our hearts weep in pain
The child Jesus is born and God is Emmanuel,
here with us in our fragility and our mortality.
Emmanuel is God with us even if we wrestle
with the death of those we dearly love.

by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

Other poems of PADILLO OLESEN (407)

Comments (4)

love the truth and meaning in this poem, excellent write and read
Yes, Thomas, death is part of our mortality, of our sinfulness and part of our being human. It is only possible to appreciate life if we are able to experience the pain and sorrow over death, the pain of losing, the pain of dying.
wicked truth, , , that eats everyone, , , , , excellently written, , , ,
It is all too hard to understand why, yet we have to believe to keep on going. Sorry for all of your sadness. Thank you