February 21, 2013

to those who live in darkness


When he looks at me, looks through me to the diplomas signed over to dust, I think of them: the ones who bang their heads against the wall and walk with ringing in their ears and move along to a melody that never ends. I know the words of the song they sing, the anthem of the club we never asked to join. 

When he speaks, it’s clear he’s never been a member and has never read the bylines. He leans uncomfortably close and shines a light in my eyes, and I wish I could take the flashlight out of his hands and reveal to him what I’ve discovered in the dark.

When he looks at me, looks through me toward his shelves full of answers, I think of them: the ones who sit in his big chair and listen to his long words; I wonder if he recognizes what is coming out of his mouth, the silk-spit that weaves a web and traps the ones who dare to come close: your problem can’t be solved, there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re doing this to yourself, the pain isn’t real, it’s real but it’s not going away.

He goes away.

He leaves without giving an answer, and by the time I am home, the blackness seems deeper than before.

I crawl forward on bruised knees, stretching out hands to grab at what I know is there. I reach out, and I can’t see, but I’ll trust someone who could. Isaiah, he saw the Lord “seated on a high and lofty throne,” and he wrote that the Son of God “Himself bore our sicknesses… carried our pains.”

I think of them: the ones who have been abandoned by doctors, doubted by loved ones, shut out by those who don’t understand. I ache to tell them what I've discovered in the dark: when you know that Jesus has stepped down from heaven and stepped into suffering and taken on your hurts – it changes everything. 

When I think of them, those who deal with loneliness because others cannot comprehend the depth of their pain, I thank my God for His kindness: not only is He able to shoulder their burdens, but His comfort comes with the friendship of One who understands. 

When I think of them, I think of Him, and I rejoice, for I have forsaken Him far more than any doctor has forsaken me, and yet, my Jesus says, "Come." 

Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. ~ Luke 1:78-79