For the tears of Children (Houston)

God, I’ve watched the news,
   one report after another;
and to be honest—
   I can’t look anymore.
The pain overwhelms me:
   the faces of children—
   so many children,
   lost in the water.
I can’t take it.

Can you?
   Are you watching?
Can you hear the desperation—
   the cries of children tonight?
Children who just want to go home,
   to their room, their bed, their toys.
And it’s there—they can see it,
   but it’s a mirage left by water
   they can’t understand.

Can you feel the tears of a child,
   with every toy, every stuffed animal,
   rotting with mold from the flood?
Their best school clothes ready to go,
   backpacks filled with supplies.
Or they were—before they left,
   they were—before their school flooded.

Tonight, God, I can’t bear the pain, the tears.
   I just hope you can.


Glenn Pemberton is a minister turned professor turned writer. After serving churches in Texas and Colorado, Glenn completed a Ph.D. (Old Testament). He then taught at Oklahoma Christian University before coming to Abilene Christian University in 2005, retiring as professor emeritus in 2017 due to a severe chronic pain. Glenn now spends his time writing for the church. Along with short essays he has published four books, including The God who Saves: An Introduction to the Message of the Old Testament (2015), and Hurting with God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms (2012). Glenn and his wife Dana continue to live in Abilene, Texas.

Post Info:
Author:  Publish Date: September 5, 2017

1 Comment

  • karen Hendrick says:

    I shared with my sister-in-law in Houston. Thanks for your prayer and your writing. Lord comfort and hold the children and assist the parents, grandparents and friends to walk with the children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

Contact Us

CHARIS CHARIS on Facebook CHARIS on Twitter

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address