I Believe In...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


Based on the writings found in a World War II concentration camp and the choral piece "Even When He is Silent" by Kim Andres Arnesen, this poem explores both the pain and hope felt by a person in
the most impossible of circumstances.

Submitted: July 07, 2018

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Submitted: July 07, 2018

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I still remember those words she spoke to me and how stubborn I was to not believe them. With the stomping of aggressive feet around me, the cries of mothers pulled from their children, and the sinister laughter of killers and discriminators, I still hear her words through it all, regardless of how I wished I couldn’t.

What I had was little and what I believed mattered not. My tomorrows were not guaranteed and my “here and nows” were uncertain. Yesterday was no peaceful memory and the memories I did have were blurred, unfocused, and scattered. Yet, I could still hear her through it all.

Those words she spoke to me during my tearful nights, my lonely mornings, and my callous afternoons. I rarely believed anything could come of what she said. I knew and remembered little of what stood behind the walls and gates that read ‘Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here’…and abandoned it I did. Yet, I could still hear her through it all.

Everything was one bloodstained storm after another. The clouds above me resembled this, but she still smiled upon seeing them. She always said that the sun rested merely behind them and she could still see it’s shimmering glow now. I thought her crazy, deluded, and needlessly hopeful. What light could shine upon us now? There is no sun in Hell.

Hatred and loathing were all I had come to expect. A swift kick, a backhanded remark. A warning, a threat. A bruise, a cut. Disrespected, disregarded. Through spite, will-power, or idiocy alone, she still smiled. She was held and comforted, as was I, by those who knew us not. I wept, she wept, but only she smiled. What compassion could be shown here other than that that was met with the cold hand of welcoming death? There was no love in Hell.

I never heard His voice, never felt His presence. Time passes and more and more did I believe that neither could exist. More and more I understood He had abandoned us, left us in the hands of demons. But she never believed that. No, she believed something far beyond what was reasonable, respectable, and comprehendible.

She would tell me of Him and His blessings, myself being one of them. She would speak of His power, grace, might, and love. What power? What grace? What might? And what love? If He truly loved as deeply as she claimed, would I be there in the depths of Hell suffering alongside her? There is no God in Hell.

Freedom came, but I was alone. Her gentle touch gone from my side and her voice among the whispers of those who passed. Still, she slipped away in silent peace, a smile still upon her face. Never have I felt such dread or sorrow when I realized my miracle came at a price; her life the ultimate payment. What was I to believe then? What did her words mean when she still submitted to the horrors of our reality?

Years passed and I grew into the man she would have wanted me to be. I walked along the edge of seas and oceans wondering what she meant. Then, through the clouds above, a ray of light shined down upon me and I gazed up. The glow was soft and calming, something I seldom experienced. Her words echoed in my mind. The sun was still there behind clouds. Unseen, but there and still shining brightly.

I continued and saw a family together, lovingly embracing one another. I remembered the embrace I was subjected to whenever others felt the need to be by my side. When I could not comfort her, they would appear, asking for nothing in return. Those in power gave no such kindness, but that kindness still remained in the hearts of others. Her words echoed in my mind once more.

Then, I heard the wind among the trees and the waves of the water. I looked at myself and saw that I existed. I existed in a way I could never understand. I felt the sand between my toes, the heat of the sun on my head, and the warmth of my heart remembering her words, but no human alone could allow me the pleasure of such wonders. And the miracle of being alive, in spite of everything, could not have been granted or done by man’s hand alone.

Sinking to my knees, I prayed at last for forgiveness I never wanted to admit I needed. Through my cries, I heard her speak to me once more. I heard her tell me of her beliefs and how the absence of proof does not mean the existence of the belief is all in vain.

The sun rises and falls, even when I see it not. Love is around me, even when I feel it not. And God…there is a God, and He heard me and my cries, even when I did not hear Him in return. Her words live on through me and through life itself.

I, too, believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I, too, believe in love, even when I feel it not. And, most importantly, the belief that allowed her joy, even in death. Miracles on display around me and the lives of many lived among me…no human is capable of such wonders. His voice does not need to be heard to know He watches over me now. Is the world around me and my very life not evidence of that?

I believe in God…even when He is silent.


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