Life is hard when you feel things.

But why must all the operations in life be performed without an anesthetic?
– Ernest Hemingway, To Have and Have Not (1937)

I immediately think of the “prayer hospital” that was at a weeklong Christian conference which I attended. We were able to receive prayer from volunteers, and for me it was extremely necessary, more than I knew. For me it was a “prayer ICU.” Even at the time, I described it as, “God doing open-heart surgery without anesthetic. Crying. Wailing. Uncovering secrets. Beginning of healing.

That is only one instance. Think of every heartbreak, pain, all pangs of jealousy, grief. Through all this suffering and hurting, may hearts be opened and healed, not hardened.

I got home today and unwrapped a gift that had arrived earlier this afternoon: a gorgeous, silver and blue Seven Sorrows rosary. For once I might enjoy praying that emotionally difficult chaplet — painful in my heart but beautiful in my hands.

Silver with blue beads
Iridescent in the light:
What a gift it is!


For DVerse Poetics, we are given a challenge to write a poem inspired by one of several quotations from Ernest Hemingway’s novels. This haibun was inspired by something that happened a few years ago, plus the gift that I received this afternoon. The title is something I said to my therapist just yesterday.

10 thoughts on “Life is hard when you feel things.

  1. I do love the title of your poem. A “prayer hospital” really can heal others. Pulling oneself out of their own sorrows to pray on relieving the pain of others is a healing in and of itself. Thank you for your heart-felt response to the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

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