Let Go and Let God
Tania Runyan (bio)

Our father who fills our stockings with coal
like it’s some sort of hobby,
who sends us to the pallid hospital
labs on a regular schedule
of worry, take your scourges and scorpions
back onto the flat-paged essays

of theology, the dusty old essays
sprayed with the coal-
black venom of judgment’s scorpionic
words. I’ve made a hobby
of shrugging on schedule
when a friend texts from the hospital:

How could God send us to the hospital
I could compose an essay
of explanations. The nurse on schedule
needed to stroke your child’s charcoal
hair and consider how that sweet little Holly Hobbie
of the Spirit caresses scorpions

of pain like prairie flowers, sighs at Scorpio
pinned up in the sky outside the hospital
window. Or you needed to take up a hobby,
like writing hope-filled personal essays
on the tray table next to the cole-
slaw congealing for hours past dinner’s schedule.

But I know the cosmic Scheduler
of all things new can unleash scorpions
through the hallowed scarf racks at Kohls
or send every patient at the hospital
dancing home to assay
the happy injustice of heaven. Hobble

back to your exquisite hobby
of prayer, to your regularly scheduled
lifting of hands and unessayed
final trial of faith: scorpion
stingers from your hospitable
God studded in diamonds from coal.

This is not an essay on the Redeemer’s hobby
of heaping coal on our heads or scheduling
scorpions to attack. It’s a report from grace’s hospital.

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