Dark Valley

by Lory Widmer Hess

With my glaring torch
I’d like to light up
all the paths – so that I
could surely lead myself.

Then I wouldn’t need
this superfluous shepherd
who gestures with his crook.

Where does he want me to go?
I’m so scared
he’ll let me tumble in the ravine
or drown in some waterhole.

No, I want to see for myself, to see
myself, and not be sightlessly led
hither and thither and who knows where.

But the way is obscure. My light only blinds me
so I see nothing but brightness and pain.
Put it out, put it out.
Stand still in the dark
till peace returns
by the waters of calm.

The good grass is here, the table is spread.
You are in the house, even as you walk.
You carry it with you, when you let
Him guide you, blind and blessed.

Lory Widmer Hess is an American currently living with her family in Switzerland. She has worked for the past ten years with adults with developmental disabilities, from whom she has learned her greatest life lessons, and is in training as spiritual director. Her writing has been published in Parabola, Red Letter Christians, Kosmos Quarterly, Christian Community Perspectives, and other print and online publications. She blogs at enterenchanted.com and can be found on Mastodon at @lorywidmerhess@bookstodon.com.

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