A few years ago I went through a “season” of death. A surprising number of people within a degree or two of separation from me passed away, mostly unexpectedly. I wrote today’s sonnet at the end or shortly after that strange period ended. I probably had just hit the end of 2 Samuel in my own personal quiet time, wherein David sins and God sends a three-day-long plague on Israel as a punishment. Just before he went to strike Jerusalem itself, God relented, stopping his angel of death at the threshing floor of a man named Araunah. David apparently got a glimpse of the angel, and cried out to God to let the punishment fall on his family instead (a punishment ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, David’s descendant). Anyway, that December, in the middle of that season, David’s prayer became my own.
Originally written December 4, 2016. #109
I feel Death’s garments brushing past my skin.
His long cloak flutters gently in the breeze.
I close my eyes and utter silent pleas
That he will pass by—will not enter in
The homes of all of those I hold so dear,
That he will see the lamb’s bright-painted blood,
That he will hear the prayers cried out to God,
And hearing these, will nevermore draw near—
But no. You will keep moving in my midst
And touch the lives of my beloved friends,
And will keep doing so until the end.
And so, all I can ask of you is this:
Please stop now, at Araunah’s threshing floor,
And let this deadly season be no more.