Come Inside

In more ways than one the past five months have silenced me. I simply haven’t found the energy or the words to voice my experience. This has been a season of immense pain, of learning, of hope, and of pain once more. It’s the sort of pain that isolates, apparently even from my own voice, as it seems this dark existential pit of being has no sufficient words. I have journaled mere details of my days without a hint of poeticism and started songs just to scrap them because they have become clichés. I’ve been desperately searching for something to catalyze my healing. But this… this suffering is persistent.

Journeying with me from Tacoma, Washington to Durham, North Carolina and the community of Duke Divinity School, this suffering goes with me more than ever before. I have said over and over again to my poor health, “This really isn’t a good time. Could you please leave me alone?” But at its core is this fundamental insistence on being experienced fully and without reprieve, to break me wide open for reasons unknown, and silence me at a crucial moment when I could be making new connections with new people.

I think there is simply no making sense of our suffering, you just learn to grapple with your two options of resisting your reality or embracing it. Today I break the silence because I’m feeling ready to take up the latter. Perhaps our pain and suffering knocks upon our door not to taunt us away from fulfillment, but to befriend us and teach us all that it can about true love and true joy—those virtues that we culturally unlearn.

now silence your core

heed the knocking wound

and with a resounding breath

prepare a room for a resurrected heart

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One thought on “Come Inside”

  1. Your writing is lovely and so real, Nolan. I admire your bravery and desire to endure! You make some very good points. Your bit about pain being a teacher…..I’ve often thought of it that way, too. There have been many times when I don’t understand why painful things are happening, but I’ve found that the pain does make me stronger in the end. I know that might sound hackneyed, but I sincerely believe it. I hope you only grow stronger. Pain is how warriors are born, after all.

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