While reading Feminine Threads by Diana Lynn Severance I came across the story of Elizabeth Prentiss. She was a Victorian Christian lady who cared for the sick and provided pastoral support within her husband’s church, in addition to looking after her family. Then deep sorrow struck. In 1852, her four-year-old son Eddy died, followed a few months later by her tiny baby girl. This is a poem Elizabeth wrote out of her grief:
I thought that prattling boys and girls
Would fill this empty room;
That my rich heart would gather flowers
From childhood’s opening bloom.
One child and two green graves are mine,
That is God’s gift to me:
A bleeding, fainting, broken heart –
That is my gift to Thee.
Are you broken-hearted because of losing a precious little treasure? Or grieving because you long for ‘prattling boys and girls to fill [an] empty room’? Do what Elizabeth did, and what I have done: give your broken heart to God. He specialises in mending what is broken and is deeply compassionate. Even if you’re angry with Him, tell Him. He is big enough to take your anger and grief, giving you peace instead. He will give you beauty for ashes, and joy instead of mourning.
Poem used by kind permission of Christian Focus Publications.