What I Heard Before Falling Asleep

On the day
my sister ended a Zoom call
with a heartfelt “I love you,”

a directee dried her eyes
and said, “Thank you,”

the warm embrace of a friend
still lingered in my body,

the rain stopped long enough
for me to go for a walk,

Fred picked up my photocopies
and made dinner,

and an email made me smile,

I got into bed 
and, in that undefended moment 
before falling asleep,
an ache whispered
“Would anyone fall in love
with me?”

Then it went to sleep
as if it had said nothing 
at all. 

But I heard it,

and I wait 
to hear it again 
and again
until that ache
doesn’t ache

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of all my fears;
You bless me with oil
and my cup overflows
–Psalm 23:5
Paraphrased by Nan C. Merrill,
Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness

∗ ∗ ∗

A Lenten Pause

As we continue a Lenten practice of claiming our belovedness, we create a safe place for our fears to be heard. An ache that is very old and very young may speak. It allows us to listen and sit with it for a while until that old/young part of ourselves knows it will be okay.

An ache may say, “I’m not good enough,” or, “Everything I touch, I ruin,” or, “I’m not that important,” or well, you fill in the blank. We (God and I) don’t have to agree with what my fear is saying; we simply need to hear it and let that old/young part of ourselves be loved and thank it for being brave enough to speak.

Credits and References:
Red Squirrel_7674 by Robert Taylor Used with permission.
“Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes” (Red Squirrel) by  Joachim Dobler. Used with permission.”
The poem “What I Heard Before Falling Asleep” by Esther Hizsa, 2023
“Time” by Cale Woodley. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2023.
The unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2023.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Lent, Poetry, Prayer, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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