We cannot care for you the way we wanted

We cannot care for you the way we wanted. John Lamberton Bell* (1949- ) and Graham Maule* (1958- ). First published in When Grief Is Raw (Wild Goose, 1997), this tender hymn was written to console those who have had the almost unbearable sadness of losing a baby. It takes a time and a tragedy that is very hard to bear, and expresses the ‘mess of anger, grief and tiredness’ (stanza 4 line 1) in delicate and gentle phrases that no other hymn writer had ever attempted to face. It must have comforted many by recognizing the misery and the love that accompany the death of a baby. It sets before God ‘the worship of our sorrow’ (stanza 4 line 3), and the knowledge that ‘love will not die’ (stanza...

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