Faith Haibun

At times of crisis, injury; imminent danger for a child, loved one or close friend, many of us slip into “bargaining” or pleading mode. Please God, if you let her avoid this, I will . . . ; or Please God, let him make it through this and I will never . . .

This moment was different as I listened to the doctor. He may or may not wake up. If he does, he most likely will not be the same.
I looked at the doctor and demanded, What do you mean, he won’t be the same?
His heart stopped for six minutes so his brain . . .
I loudly interrupted, NO!
I wouldn’t listen. I didn’t hear the beeping machines or see the tubes. I just stared intently at his face, past the intubation tube. Held his cold limp hand and firmly said, He is here. He will return to us. I know it.
It was a statement of fact for me. A moment of faith.

snow covered cold ground
challenging spring to surface
crocus pushed to bloom


It’s haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Mish asks us to write about faith. A haibun is two or three succinct paragraphs of prose that must be true, followed by a seasonal haiku. This post also works for Day 2’s prompt for  NaPoWriMo where we’re asked to use “voice” in our post. Prose is in the first/personal voice. Haiku is from the third voice, looking on rather than being in.
I’ve written about this topic before…it’s been five years and those days are indelibly imprinted on my psyche.  We continue to be thankful for every day. 

21 thoughts on “Faith Haibun

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) April 2, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    I think that this is a moment when we simply have to have faith… we need to have it…. faith is coping isn’t it?


  2. little learner April 2, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    This is beautifully constructed and perfect for both prompts! Well done!!!!


  3. Frank J. Tassone April 2, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    A poignant witness, lillian! I love how you embody your moment of faith in the natural imagery of your haiku!


  4. kim881 April 2, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    That’s faith, Lill, and I love how you’ve captured that in your beautiful spring haiku.


  5. Mish April 2, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Wiping tears here, Lil. That was a true testament of faith. Beautifully written and inspiring to read.


  6. Mary (tqhousecat) April 2, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Sometimes faith is loud and determined! So happy for you! Love the haiku!


  7. Carol J Forrester April 2, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    Wonderful Haiku and the prose was just fantastic, I felt like I was stood in the room next to you.


  8. JoHanna Massey April 2, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    You certainly do demonstrate faith in what is a very difficult situation. One that feels so singular at the time, but which many people find themselves facing. Thank you.


  9. Michael April 2, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    I think you nailed the concept of faith perfectly Lillian.


  10. rothpoetry April 2, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    A great post Lillian. Denial is always a first reaction.. I could feel your pain.
    Loved the haiku… snow challenging spring growth … a wonderful image!


  11. Jo Aylard April 2, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    I hope he was okay and woke up! This was simply beautiful.


  12. Waltermarks April 2, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    That sounds like some pretty scary business. I’m glad your prayers were answered


  13. Vivian Zems April 3, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Finding yourself on that precipice…. you remember every detail in absolute clarity. I hope it worked out well in the end. Powerful.


  14. annell4 April 3, 2018 / 11:57 am

    I love your experience and your faith. My experience was different, and I cannot say it strengthened my faith…I think it all drained away that day.


  15. katiemiafrederick April 4, 2018 / 11:45 pm

    Faith is Love Without Fear
    Love is EMoTioN MoVinG HeART Us
    Trust is TRuly Understanding Our Affect
    oF A


  16. Sabio Lantz April 8, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    @ Lillian:

    You left a long comment on my poem and ended by saying “Fascinating that you said, “Answer if you will….but I shall not reply to this one again.“ So I will add a long comment here too, but I will follow for a short while.

    Your “Faith Haibun” was an amazingly touching story. But how could it not be? Yet until I read your comment on my blog, I did not know that:
    (1) It was your husband who you were discussing
    (2) or that he actually lived
    (3) or that you have had 5 more wonderful years for him.

    So much loss when we keep poems vague — and reading your poem with this in mind make it much more rich.
    The story is wonderful.

    Yet, I miss the version where I assumed he died and you were sharing the horrible pains most of us will eventually go through as life throws her dice on the game board. It seemed a gutsy confession. It stead, I see by your comment on my blog that it was praise for an answered prayer – in a sense.

    But as for your “faith”, I must also add that I worked in Emergency Medicine for decades where I have horrible memories of far too many loved ones yelling “NO!” like you did, and proclaiming faith, yet it did not happen — their loved one died. Actually that would probably be 30 faithful, desperate screams for life failed for each one that did not. So, does that make your faith more pure than all those others who lost their loved ones or maybe God had something special in mind for your husband and you that he didn’t have for all those others, or perhaps your husband was a better person than all those others, or … you know my theory. But either way, it is wonderful story and I am very happy for you. I wish faith really worked and the world had many more happy happy miraculous stories, but it does not.

    You also chastising me for criticizing a tendencies in poetry that probably have turned people off to poetry for a hundred years now — if not longer. I guess you escape the demographics, many do. So congrats to you. I was not writing a blanket claim, merely and statistical observation.

    Today I heard a dear friend make a critical judgement saying, “The music of young folks today ….”. My reply was, “when old folks say something like that, they are only confessing how much closer to death they are.” You see, heartless, aren’t I? But actually, we all laughed! That is because f2f encounters can be very different for the unorthodox. But we often read tones into writing that we want to hear.


  17. Sabio Lantz April 8, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    @ Lillian:

    Reading the above comment now, I see some who agreed with you but some who agreed with me, they all put it differently. Some couching their comments very carefully. But Annell4 said it best, in my opinion.

    “I love your experience and your faith. My experience was different, and I cannot say it strengthened my faith…I think it all drained away that day.”


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