“Life for Me Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair”

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The First Sunday during Lent finds me nursing a tension headache. The week of Fred’s testing caused no small measure of stress. A sense of fear overtook me. My Lenten journey, though, reminds me that this is appropriate, an expected part of life. For the Lenten walk is nothing at all if it does not reflect life’s journey itself . . . filled with times of darkness, fear, grief, uncertainty — all the human emotions that so assail us.

I am reminded of the brilliant poem written by Langston Hughes.

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floorβ€”
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall nowβ€”
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

– Langston Hughes

How true it is that “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” But God has walked with me along the way, pouring grace upon grief. Thanks be to God.

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