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Wednesday Writings

Journey to the East: A Poem of Hope in Chronic Illness

The past two weeks we’ve found comfort, inspiration, and hope in passages from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that parallel powerful, relevant Scriptural truths for those of us in chronic illness.

Some of these scenes–and many of these truths–impacted me so deeply they turned into words of their own. I’d like to share with you the resulting poem, a poem of hope in chronic illness inspired by The Lord of the Rings:

Journey to the East

I carry a burden, a great weight of gold,
Before my days chosen by wisdom of old
To bow down with sorrow my neck and my soul,
Pressed low to the earth like a creature unwhole.

I go to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul will be freed and all weariness gone
When shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

Through meadows of sunlight beneath azure sky,
By sparkling rivers that never run dry,
Up hills, over mountains the road leads me on,
Each step, ev’ry breath a small victory won.

I go to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul will be freed and all weariness gone
When shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

Through forests of thorns, by cliffs riven and steep,
Beneath towers watching to passages deep,
In valleys of shadow and tunnels of fear,
I raise sword and starlight and forth persevere.

I go to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul will be freed and all weariness gone
When shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

One comrade of many remains at my side
To nourish and comfort, a warrior and guide.
Though others may fall or paths sundered fulfill,
My own is laid straight; I must follow it still.

I go to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul will be freed and all weariness gone
When shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

Dark hunters pursue me, their breath like a blight;
Fell creatures await me as servants of night.
With webs of deceit they devise their attack,
But they cannot conceive I will not be held back.

I go to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul will be freed and all weariness gone
When shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

My spirit is fading, my body it fails;
My weakness grows stronger as darkness prevails.
My eyes cannot see, I taste ash on my lips,
Yet upward I climb with the last of my steps.

I’ve come to the East, to the Land of the Sun,
To cast off my burden and see it undone.
My soul is now freed and all weariness gone
As shadows take flight in the splendor of dawn.

One reply on “Journey to the East: A Poem of Hope in Chronic Illness”

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