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At the Edge of My Joy

At the Edge of My Joy
by Doug Bursch

At the edge of my joy stands my sorrow
waiting for the laughter to wane
quiet in the shadows at the edge of light and fellowship.

I turn my back to sorrow, but it encircles every room.
I place myself in the center of the movement
but it will be quiet soon.

Soon it will be quiet and the room will empty
and I will look down and in, avoiding the distant gaze
the gaze that takes me beyond the circle of light
into the shadows, into my sorrow.

Whatever thought I am, whatever thought I have captured
cannot release me from the limits of my mind
cannot release me from the circle I know and the edge of what I know
the edge beyond the light, beyond the circle, where it is unknowable

In most of my living, I believe that discovery gives me life
I believe that knowledge brings understanding and comfort.
But I cannot escape the limitation, I cannot escape my inability to be limited.

Limitlessness terrifies me, the thought of endlessness
the thought of my inability to think it out, work it out…
this is a crushing blow, a panicked feeling with no thought to comfort
a panicked feeling, from a panicked thought
that sorrow is waiting for me at the edges of my understanding.

Hold me! I need this love to hold me.
Help me! I need this peace that passes understanding.
It is my only hope, that I will never experience shadow
only thought of shadow, only temporary fear
that fades under the weight of the light and life I experience now.

Eternal now, hem me in, comfort me.
I need your glory to blind my distant gaze
and center me into the reality of this room and this moment
where you are present and I am ok.


7 Responses to At the Edge of My Joy

  1. Laurie Sherman March 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Introspectively ministering. The Holy Spirit is doing so in this. You are to me & others. I think the Psalms speaks to this “tension” in the deep calling deep picture. Ahhhhh, in the Light f His Glory & Grace, I will abide.

  2. Dan Behrens (@danieljbehrens) March 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    wow. powerful, and good to share. like Laurie, i was thinking of “tensions”, the tension of God knowing that our knowledge of good and evil would bring sadness to everyone and everything. he, being everything, ushers in what is greater than and more eternally abiding than sadness… himself! good work.

  3. cyndiburgess March 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    I’m talking this weekend about how Jesus meets us at the intersections of life. One of them being the intersection of depressed and determined. Thank you for your openness here. Not only for the healing it brings those of us who read it, but also… because you just gave me a great sermon illustration! Woohoo!

    Your Friend Jon

  4. lovetruthpeace2014 April 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you for your courage and wisdom. This is brilliant.

  5. Gwen Jorgensen November 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    Wow. That so resonates with me. Thank you for sharing this. “blind my distant gaze.”

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