Lenten Grace — The Uses of Sorrow

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
~Mary Oliver, “The Uses of Sorrow”

The bright sadness of Lent
is a box full of darkness
given to us by someone who loves us.

It takes a lifetime to understand,
if we ever do,
this gift with which we are entrusted
is meant to
hand off to another and another
whom we love just as well.

Opening the box
allows light in
where none was before.
Sorrow shines bright
reaching up
from the deep well
of our loving
and being loved.

4 thoughts on “Lenten Grace — The Uses of Sorrow

  1. This poem meets me in such a deep way … in a culture that runs from sorrow, that hates to look at death, that numbs every pain we can through every means imaginable, we come to see if we’re willing to, that sorrow has its purpose and its point. Thank you.


  2. Tina Bustamante echoes my thoughts beautifully. There is nothing more that I can add except to say, Thank you, Emily, for your depth of understanding of the darkness and sorrow that we all experience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.