08/14/2013 03:53 pm ET Updated Oct 14, 2013

Where Is God?

My new book of poems, Reduced to Joy, has just been published. The book contains 73 poems, retrieved and shaped over the last 13 years, about the nature of working with what we're given till it wears us through to joy. For the next few months, I'd like to share poems from the new book with you.

Since the beginning of time, we as human beings have always called out for a higher power or larger force to rescue us when we're in pain or trouble. During my cancer journey, I was forced into this conversation more than once. After many years, this poem has surfaced as the few words I've been able to retrieve that speak to this.

Where Is God?

It's as if what is unbreakable --
the very pulse of life -- waits for
everything else to be torn away,
and then in the bareness that
only silence and suffering and
great love can expose, it dares
to speak through us and to us.

It seems to say, if you want to last,
hold on to nothing. If you want
to know love, let in everything.
If you want to feel the presence
of everything, stop counting the
things that break along the way.

A Question to Walk With: Whatever your spiritual background or interest, how would you begin to answer this timeless question: Where is God?

For more Poetry for the Soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.