Walk with me

I wrote this over 10 years ago. I was living in Regina — working nights as a security officer. It was harsh time for me mentally and physically. Poor diet, typically sleeping 5 hours during the day, and working all night. Smoking almost 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Not good times….. but I still managed to come up with this.

With a sigh I park the car, switch it off and sit there…and stare for a while, my mind wandering. So many things running in my head. So many things screaming for my attention. A brief though flashes through my mind — what would happen if I dived into the water and just swam until…

I shrug out of my shirt, enjoy the last of the day’s warmth, and look out across the deserted parking lot. It’s a popular place. Sand. Salt Air. The daytime belonging to the families, the night to the party crowd. But Sunday nights….its vacant. Perfect. I don’t think I could stand to look at anyone right now without either loosing my temper or collapsing into tears. I need to be alone.

I walk barefoot along a beach….there is a pier ahead, and the surf is gently churning. Waves washing lazily ashore. The sunset off to my left is painting the skies with oranges and reds….a ball of yellow fire hanging just above the water. I just walk….my head is full of thoughts….and I know the beach is quiet at this time….I’m alone. Utterly alone.

I don’t know how long I walked….it must have been a while…but suddenly, I felt a hand slip into mine. A number of thoughts race through my head. Who is here? What on earth are they holding my hand for? Why is it wet and sticky?

I glance over…and it’s Him….calmly meeting my shocked gaze, eyes boring into my soul. My mouth drops open, and then I look down….and I see it. A fresh jagged hole in His hand, the blood oozing out and covering His hand and mine. Trails of crimson trickle down my fingers and fall to the sand. I look back at Him. No words of condemnation, nothing but a few quietly spoken words:

“You’re forgiven. My blood has covered your sin….now come. Walk with me”

And we walked. He quietly listened as I poured out my heart. Unashamed I wept…all my pain and anger came boiling out like a tide. And he listened as I talked. After I was quiet for a while, He stopped. I stood beside Him, looking at my shoes, not daring to look at the holes in His feet. One nail-pierced hand lifted my chin; a calloused thumb wiped my tears away. Again He softly spoke

“I heard your heart breaking, and my heart broke too. You’re soul is crying under all the pain you carry that’s not yours to take. Lay it down.”

Then with a gentle smile he continued

“Ask not for a weekly feast but for daily bread

Ask not for a map to find your way, but a candle to light your path

Ask not for an easy life, for out of the embers I will create a sword”

The smile widened as His arms came around me in a warm embrace. Eyes sparkling with welled up tears. “You are MY son, the adopted heir of my Kingdom. I plumbed the depths of Hell….and would do it all over again just to be with you. I’ve tasted the bitterness of death, the sour taste of sin, the salt tears of betrayal. I know your hurts and your pain. I have conquered it all for you to savor the sweetness of the Fathers love.”

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