April 21, 2017

A Broken Hallelujah .... by Jocelyn Faire

A Broken Hallelujah


2. reduced to fragments; fragmented.
3. ruptured; torn; fractured.
4. not functioning properly; out of working order.

Twelve Years ago for my 50th birthday my son and his to be fiancee sang a song for me ... Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. The forty or so birthday celebrants listened in amazement at the gifted guitarist and the strong female voice and the beauty of the words. A week and a half later this same song was sung on a missions trip in a Mexican orphanage at chapel time. That time I had goosebumps on my arms, the crowd was hushed, the electricity was palpable in the air and the audience of a hundred Spanish children and adults joined in with the Hallelujahs.
And ten days later these two singers and his sister were in a car accident that transported them to heaven.

So what does Easter mean to me? It means that even though the world is full of brokenness, the resurrection message is one of HOPE. I have not arrived to where I'd like to be in the journey, but I do not grieve (or live) as those without hope. (1 Thess 4:13)
Hope is searching for signs of spring on a cold April day. Hope is continuing to paint Easter eggs. Hope is staying in touch with a drug addict in Australia. Hope is making soup. Hope types words of comfort. Hope sings a song, says a prayer. And hope needs bolstering on a regular basis. For me, hope (as I think I've blogged before) is Hold On Perspective Eternal. Hope has eyes to see the bigger picture.
Hope is a choice
Hope has given me my voice
to question to doubt, to scream to shout
Hope has been in the midst
as a spark
as a river
a cause to shiver
Hope behind, hope before
Hope surrounds as it opens and shuts the door
The taste of hope
And I want more
More of the source
more of truth
more of the grace it has given.
I want Hope on this earth
And a taste of Heaven.

The resurrection of Easter means that which was broken by death, now moves towards wholeness. It means that I will hear that Hallelujah song again, and in heaven it will not be a broken Hallelujah. It means that while I am on this planet I and many others continue to live with loss. I will always wonder where would my son, my daughter be if they were still alive. Would I be a grandmother for their children? But the hope means that I can also put the pause on this line of questioning in order to see the beauty that has subsequently come into my life. It means that as I share with others in grief, I have hope to share. We may live in a broken world, but the presence of God is everywhere. It is the beauty of the sunset, it is the cry of a newborn baby, it is a flower budding, it is a wedding ring. We have been promised that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that works in us. In Ephesians 1, Paul's prayer is that we could see the utter extravagance of God's work in us who trust him, the endless energy and boundless strength. And oh how I need both the energy and the strength. The cross was a once and done deal, I wish it were that simple to say I have hope, to say I don't grieve ... I am a work in progress, I practice hope daily.

Wholeness: noun the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity. The state of being unbroken or undamaged.
Hope helps me move to wholeness as my Hallelujahs become less broken.

Here's a link to the Hallelujah song: there are many versions of this song, in the first the introduction is a bit long, but it's my favorite.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4 Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSgsW9GLerA Alexander Burke's -a bit more theatrical

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking out of My Head? Grief as an Out of Body Experience


  1. So wonderful to have you back, Jocelyn, after your little hiatus. Praying for God's richest blessings for you in your new marriage.

  2. Thanks Tracy- definitely some adjustments, but overwhelming blessings! And it is good to be "back" into some writing.

  3. Hi Jocelyn. Wow, such a powerful expression of hope! As one who has experience with grief and is held by hope I feel your heart. Without question your poem on hope is the most moving one I have ever read. Please believe me. Every word tells me you are acquainted with deep grief and love. Hope is a reality we may indeed embrace. Especially in my work/ministry I have come alongside many people who grieve. My own experience with grief recognizes that without hope I would still be screaming. Your words have moved me so much that my reply sounds simple. Thank you for such honesty. This message is one I will not forget.

    1. Thank you Alan, I appreciate The Message's description as the God of "green hope" in Romans 15, a growing hope, as you said a hope we can embrace.

  4. Thank you for sharing so openly, Jocelyn. Your hope in the midst of such grief is powerful, and it has touched me deeply.

    1. Thank-you, and may that hope be ever present in your journey.

  5. Thank you for your sharing your "Broken Hallelujah" and your growing wholeness. Thanks for sharing your grief and your hope, your poem, your personal and spiritual growth. May God continue to water the garden that is your life and make the flowers grow abundantly, Jocelyn.

    1. Thank-you Sharon, I appreciate your comments and may our God continue to water the gardens of both of our lives.

  6. Oh, Jocelyn, your poem is stunning. Full of emotion and encouragement. Thank you for sharing this hope.

  7. Your poem gave me goose-bumps! Our lives are so filled with ups and downs, twists and turns and yet in every one of those moments we have hope. When people like you share their stories of joy and grief, the words reach out to people and offer that hope they might never thought existed. Keep sharing your gift of writing!

  8. I love this line: "Hope helps me move to wholeness as my Hallelujahs become less broken." Your post also reminds me of Amy Grant's song, 'Better than a Hallelujah', the lyrics of which you can find here:goo.gl/W1b7G0

  9. Thank you all for your encouragements ... I truly appreciate the feedback. After getting back from my travels and trying to set up a new home 2 provinces over, I wondered why didn't I forgo the writing for awhile. These affirmations have me inspired to keep sharing. Stories are powerful ways of connecting. Susan, I have heard and like Amy Grant's song as well.


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