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By Thom Hunter – http://thomhunter.com/
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. -- Isaiah 40:30-31
The man slept. Finally. His body had pleaded; his mind had relented; his spirit was depleted and his heart had retreated, so he slept. It was restless, not restful, and the dreams were not sweet, but instead added to the eventual misery of awakening, leaving him already tired upon rising. The few things he did not constantly replay while awake whirled through his unprotected mind in sleeping, magnified by the mysterious melding of reality and fantasy, leaving him wondering if there was any need at all to emerge again beneath the deep of sleep. But, then again, sleep was never really deep anymore. In the light of the unwelcome day he heard his mind's relentless voice of repetitive remorse remind him of his losses, his misses, his self-inflicted misery, his many moments off-the-mark. Sitting still seemed the safest way to face a future that seemed to promise only more loneliness, more unanswered questions. Frozen, he believed that any action now might cause him to veer further off course and become more and more hopeless. So he did nothing. He just waited, anticipating his next fall, some greater stumble. "I am so tired," he sighed to the man inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered "I am your strength." The boy woke. Finally. He peeked through the blinds of his bedroom window to see the morning sun filtering through the branches of the trees that lined his street. His hair was soon combed; his book bag stuffed; his shoes tied. He could hear the rattle of cereal bowls down the hall; a dog barking in the yard and cars passing through the street. Soon he would hear a bell ring and take his seat and sigh and wonder why it was so wrong for boys to cry. The pain of loneliness made him more aware of and even more unsure of his heart. In the light of the unwelcome morning, his little mind's relentless voice of repetitive remorse reminded him of his losses, the things he missed, the things he would miss out on, the calculated actions of the abuser who had taken advantage of his vulnerability, leaving him adrift in confusion, the slowlycreeping cracks threatening to ravage all the boyishness, crumbling him into a hellishness he could not comprehend. "Where can I hide?" he sighed to the boy inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered "In me."
The young woman rose. Finally. She turned away from the mirror and gazed down the hall towards the front door through which she could see the sun beginning to set behind the house across the street. Her hair was brushed; her face made up, her clothes finally on. She looked around her room at the piles of rejected garments, the too-little-girly, the not-quite-right. She could hear her mother on the phone, laughing; her father in his office, typing. In her room at the end of the hall it was so quiet she could almost hear her tears fall against the tight black blouse she had chosen because she thought it showed her . . . at her best. In the fading light of the early dusk, her restless mind's relentless voice of repetitive remorse reminded her of her losses, the things she wished and now knew were beyond the hope of wanting, replaced instead by an endless desire to be loved or at least desired. She reached the door, paused to say goodbye, thought better of it and headed out into the night, lingering in the soft light of the porch to dab her eyes. "Who wants me?" she sighed to the little girl inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered "I do." I wonder what life would be like if we never grew tired, never stopped so weary we can scarcely catch our breath? What if we walked without stumbling and never kissed the hard road of life with a face-first fall? No prodigals or wandering sheep; no one who needed to be called down from a tree or helped into a boat from storm-tossed waves. No need to lift our eyes to meet another's. No trembling last-ditch reach for the hem of a passing garment. No pleas; no cries. Would we waltz through the world like graceful dancers on a polished floor, knowing there would be no concerns about stepping out of tune? Or we would crash like puppets cut loose from strings, lifeless to the floor? We couldn't hope in anything beyond our well-honed abilities; our own limited but safe strength. We could not fly; we dare not run. We'd never push our limits. We'd see our reach and never stretch beyond it. Safe and secure within our self-styled boundaries, we might cherish our non-skinned knees and walk on, but we would never soar. Whether in the brightness of the morning, the light of mid-day or the descending darkness of dusk, we would tell ourselves "this is my life," and we would listen for others to join in and build a chorus of acceptance, an embrace of lessness.
Tired. Lonely. Unwanted. Looking for a hiding place instead of grace; searching for hole to climb into instead of hope to rise up in. Just a whisper shy of soaring. The man picked up the phone. Finally. As the soft rain pattered against the panes of his office windows, he searched through the contacts, paused, started to push the buttons and held his breath, half-hoping that if he did, there would be no answer at the other end as he called his old friend to offer his hand or his shoulder . . . or his love and support . . . whatever was needed to help him walk out of the endless circle of his sexual addiction. But . . . the visions of what his friend had done, who he'd hurt, what he had rejected, what he had chosen, what he had said . . . flooded his mind. "I don't know how to do this," he sighed to the man inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered "I do." The father parked the car. Finally. Leaning forward, he rested his head against the steering wheel and placed his hands on the dash and rehearsed his speech, trying to hear it as an eight-year-old might, wondering what words he could use to re-build the trust, show his love, sow new seeds of security, carry for his beloved son the pain that threatened to suffocate the little boy's soul. His efforts to be real and good and strong and present began to weaken beneath his own guilt for his own great unraveling that had undone the safety of the life in which his son had once paraded. "I don't know what to say to my own son," he sighed to the dad inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered, "I do." The mother heard the door softly shut and she told her friend on the phone to hold on as she peeked through the curtains and saw her daughter poised on the top step looking briefly back at the door she had closed behind her. She saw the pretty eyes from which a soft tear dropped and heard her friend on the phone saying "hey, are you there?" Her feet seemed a part of the carpet, unmovable,
her hands frozen, her mind blocked, her heart restrained by memories of past moments of confrontation. "I don't know how to love her anymore," she said to the mom inside. But Someone else heard, and whispered "I do." And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.-- Matthew 28:20 Always? When we are tired? When we want to hide? When we feel unwanted? When we don't know what to do? When we don't know what to say? When We don't know how to love? When . . . ever. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." When we find ourselves overwhelmed by what we have done, or by what has been done to us, or by what we have done to others or by what we failed to do, we need to admit our weariness, our tiredness, our emptiness, our falseness, our callousnness, our sadness, our hatefulness, our lovelessness, our aimlessness . . . or whatever ness inflicts us and seek His wholeness and holiness. Clear out the clutter, tune out the culture, pack away the pride . . . wait for Him to whisper. He will. Searching for the truth about sexual brokenness? Order your copy of Surviving Sexual Brokenness: What Grace Can Do, by Thom Hunter, from Amazon.