Peering into the darkness, I squint my eyes. As if that will help me see farther. Or clearer. Or see anything at all for that matter. I am utterly alone. Too afraid to stretch out my hands for fear the darkness will overtake me. My eyes making the only intentional movements, all in vain.
Taking mental inventory, I become acutely aware of my naked vulnerability. The sudden heaviness of my body bears down on aching bones. Exhaustion seeps from my pores as though no other substance exists in my body. My jaw unclenches to scream out in pain but the cries echo only in my mind.
WHERE ARE YOU? Why did you leave me?
Pebbles underfoot once smooth and stable, now piercing and uneven, cause my unbalance. How was I ever comfortable? I had succumbed to the inky blackness, drawing it deep into my lungs, each breath more labored than the last. Icy gusts cut through my skin. My mind racing, I try to recall anything at all. Any memory that grounds me to you.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want…..”
I cling desperately to those words. Your Word. Reciting them again and again.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,….”
You are with me. Always with me. So why am I alone?
The smallest shift in the ground beneath me, almost undetectable. Almost. A distant thundering of movement, a quaking of my carefully constructed footing. The roaring nears and my eyes slowly adjust. You are in the distance, arms outstretched. Standing where we once stood together. Basking in sunlight, bathed in love. My soul longs for You.
How did I get HERE? So far away? Memories drip slowly into my consciousness. Spindly fingers wrapping themselves around me, pulling me ever-so-slightly away from you with each bruise. A callous word. Self-pity. Envious glance. Jealous desire. Wrath. Pain. Unsaid prayer. Unread verse.
Your words, just murmurs before, now clear and floating softly along the angry winds whipping my face. “Come to me.”
Raising my shoulders, my atrophied muscles ache, knowing I must move. The shaky precipice beneath me urges a swift response. The darkness between us remains. I must move. Take a step. The pebbles shift and one drops into the chasm. Without a sound.
There is no bottom.
“Come to me.”
I must move forward.
You will catch me. Or teach me to fly.
I raise my eyes to You.
And take the first step….