Mary Harwell Sayler loves writing, and has published 30 books. She loves poetry. She loves encouraging other writers and poets. But if there’s one thing she loves more than all of those, it’s the God she believes in. Before she’s a writer, before she’s a poet, and before she’s an encourager, Sayler is a woman of faith.
In Lost in Faith: and poetry, her newest collection of 73 poems, Sayler combines all of these attributes. She writes. She writes poetry. She praises. She encourages. And she questions and sings and hopes and struggles and she lives her life – a life of faith.
Her faith shines through the poems, no matter what the subject – nature, the heavens, the fall, Dante, adult coloring books, prayer, finding the bones of baby birds, a church picnic, politics, a storm, doubt, reading (and sometimes struggling to understand) Scripture, a cloud bank, and even an argument.
Talking, we stayed up too late,
knowing full well that tiredness
would awaken our next day.
So where do we go from here?
Do we resolve to speak promptly
of upset, hurt, and anger, or never
to speak at all of the carelessness
that mars our better selves?
I, for one, am weary
of trying to arrange a perfect time,
a perfect place for us to face our needs
and longings, and yet I cannot bridge
the space between your view and mine –
stark cliffs from which to push
or plunge and not resolve one thing.
Oh, for wings
to fly across the summit of ourselves:
the peaks of our emotions, the depths
and heights of love.
Is this not our landscape, filled with
a wondrous view? Is this not a reason
to go on
in faith, headlong?
Oh, God, give us Your view.
|Mary Harwell Sayler
Her published books include Living in the Nature Poem, Faces in a Crowd, Outside Eden, Beach Songs & Wood Chimes: Poems for Children, Christian Writer’s Guide, Praise: Poems, and What the Bible Says About Love, among many others. She lives in Florida.
In Lost in Faith: and poetry, Sayler’s faith inspires and pours through her poems, but it doesn’t overwhelm them. They express emotion, thinking, reflection, meditation, and joy – and occasionally exuberance. The poems put the reader in mind of the psalms, and especially the psalms of David – inviting, heartfelt, and simultaneously personal and universal. She is indeed lost in faith.
Top photograph by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash. Used with permission.