Hearing the tragic news about the death of Matthew Warren, Rick Warren’s son, stirred up deep feelings in me. I realized that we had much in common – so much so that but for God’s mercy his story could have been mine. We were fairly close in age, both Christians raised in Christian homes with parents who do some kind of ministry (my father has even worked with Rick Warren on a project), and we both struggled with mental illness for years. But I pulled out of it (more or less), while Matthew never did. This is a terrible time for the Warren family, and although I know nothing I say can heal this grief, I am offering my prayers to the One who can. I dedicate this poem to Matthew Warren and hope it will bring some kind of catharsis and/or comfort to those who are grieving.
To My Fallen Comrade
It was a weary, lonely fight we fought
Standing side by side, yet miles and miles apart
Upon the blackened landscape of our thoughts.
With all our strength we strove each morning,
Wrestling our weary bodies from the beds
Where we had fought, bled, wept
For sleep that fled.
With every breath we breathed we choked
Upon the black and burning smoke that cloaked
Our every move, obscuring sight,
With darkness deafening our ears
To words of hope.
We struggled through the days, weeks, months and years,
Begging our Lord for peace that did not come,
Striking at shadows, never knowing
Where to swing to smite the beast
That battered, bruised and broke our hearts until they hurt to beat
And every breath burned.
How did I escape that battelefield
To find this sweet oasis where the air
Is clear and light can fill my eyes?
But you, my brother both in faith and battle blood,
Are fallen, and my heart is filled with tears.
I long to tear into that demon in the dark
That stole you from this world
With so much joy untasted,
With so much good undone,
But there is nothing I can do.
So rest, my brother, in the sleep that once fled
Until the day when agony and death will lie dead
And we will dance where once the darkness reigned
And weep no more.