I Chronicles 21:15

How many times have you said,
Enough! Withdraw your hand
the vessel of your wrath subdued?
What invokes this rage, earthquakes,
hurricanes, bubonic plague, rampant
trauma sweeping across continents?

Why spare any? Impossible
to find mercy in so many, to look
beyond intractable justice and see
love hollow in bellies of famine-struck,
flowing like stopped-up rivers, years
of cloudless skies, millions dying of thirst.

Thank God it wasn’t worse. How much worse
could it have been? Prayers uttered
over sickness, violence, shootings,
bombings, death camps. Thank God
it stopped when it did.
Nations wait,
smug faces turned – look me in the eyes,
we say, give us your signs, the proof is in
the flood, earthquake, famine, plague.

My son strains against my grip,
tucked into a bear hug, restrained –
you will listen and obey. The tears come fast,
grief rolling at this confinement,
a humbling hold until Enough.

Withdraw your hand. Sobs like breaking
thunder, tears welling, bursting, driving rain.


Being that this is a first draft, I have a lot of work to do to think through this poem. I want to wrestle with this line, “Enough! Withdraw your hand,” and probably shrink the earlier stanzas and grow the more personal connection. It isn’t an easy topic – the wrath and mercy of God – but I think I can get somewhere with it. It’s just going to take me longer than tonight 🙂

It has been a while since I just wrote about how things are going around here. The kids are doing great – it was a beautiful day so we spent most of it playing outside and everyone is thoroughly exhausted, including me. Brandon is in PA for baseball, and they are playing SO well. It’s exciting – the only bummer for me is that it is really hard to get to the games – we haven’t made it once yet. I loved that about baseball season. Hopefully we’ll get to a game sometime.

I just realized my tags for this post are going to be really strange. 😉 poetry, wrath, God, death, family spring, baseball 😉

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “Enough

  1. Hi there..I like this..your musings.
    I just came across the “vessels of His wrath” while looking for another verse. Sometimes I shudder at the stuff that goes on..what man does to man alone and of course what’s gone on in the past. I’m utterly amazed though and thoroughly encouraged at God’s mercy. One King is to be judged..but he humbles himself and cries out..God listens and staves off judgement! Again, he opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble..1 Pe. 5:5 -over and over. So I imagine in the worst…in the worst situation you could be in and you fall at His feet! That’s the kind of God we serve! He hears!!He will bring in some type of intervention or delivery..not aways the way we think but it’s there..


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