Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

You, my friend, who died in battle,
       can’t remember
How your breath became a rattle,
      then, more slender,

Changed to prayer. What syllables
      were left to say,
What could be brought to mind, what bales
      of fragrant hay

Uplifted from your father’s field?
      But you were done
With gathering; another yield
        had just begun.

Jared Carter

Image by Wellcome Images licensed via Creative Commons. Image cropped. 

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift