Darker Christianity

Celtic Christian Cross

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints.
I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit:
"Will the Lord spurn for ever, and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love for ever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?"
(Psalm 77)

To be sad, to despair - even to doubt God, these are things many Christians feel guilty if they ever do. But there is no sin in them. Life, the world is hard, and there is no shame in weeping for it, for "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Just because you become a Christian, it does not follow that you will spend all your time from then on in joy and in happiness - life, and the persecution you may endure does not change because you now love God. The only thing that changes is YOU - because you have hope. Hope and trust in God does not mean you will never doubt, that you will never despair, what it does mean is that you will look to God for reassurance even when you are despairing, and even when you doubt God.

The Psalmist knew all this, and there are many psalms which express doubt, despair and sadness, and which call upon God for aid even through all that. To ignore sadness, to insist that Christians be happy all of the time, is to dangerously repress the emotions and risk ignoring those who need help and kindness. Even Jesus experienced deep sorrow - And [Jesus] said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch." (Mark 14:34) We can be sure that God understands us, and God listens, even when it would not be good for us if He took the pain away. If we trust in God, the bad times will not go away, and our pain may not be taken away, but we can at least be comforted.

The purpose of this site is to air Christian poems which express despair and sadness, along with ones of joy and hope - to provide a well-rounded, and realistic example of life. I hope this site is of service, and that it causes those of us who are sad for whatever reason to lean on God, even when things are at their worst (when do we more need God?). Many of these poems were written by me, but there are also older poems, and hymns (with music!), as well as inspirational stories to read.

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All poems © Iona Fergusson unless otherwise noted. They may be reproduced so long as authorship is acknowledged and this site URL given. Cross from Celtic-Art.Net.

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